Leroy Rosenior: Rovers' confidence on the rise despite last week's abandonment
BRISTOL Rovers will have understandably been really disappointed with how events unfolded at Adams Park last weekend. Away wins are never easy to come by and all the more sweeter when you do manage to get one, so to be 3-1 up with only twenty or so minutes left to play at Wycombe last weekend before having all their efforts dashed must have been devastating.
It has since emerged that the club has made a complaint to the Football League over the circumstances surrounding the abandonment – but whatever happens down the road on that issue will be of little concern to Mark McGhee right now.
What is of a more immediate importance to him will be tomorrow's game against Morecambe, where I fancy Rovers to get their first win of the season, even if it will come seven days after it really should have done.
A lot of the post-match discussion at Adams Park focused on the abandonment and obviously supporters were up in arms because they've ended up making a wasted trip.
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That Rovers produced a fantastic performance was somewhat lost in all the furore, and, while the result will now not stand, what can't be taken away from the players is how they played.
I think that will see them go into tomorrow's game really high on confidence, even if a glance at the early-season League Two table shows that Rovers have still yet to register anything in the win column.
The first couple of games have probably not gone to the plan that Mark will have mapped out before the start of the season, but supporters will at least arrive at the Memorial Stadium in good spirits because of the first-half display last weekend will have given everyone associated with the club a lift.
What is not expected to be seen tomorrow, however, are any new faces to the squad after McGhee confirmed on Wednesday that he is unlikely to do any business before tonight's transfer deadline.
I still feel that Rovers could do with another striker – even though Mark has continually said that the players he has at his disposal have enough goals in them to help his side to be competitive at the right end of the table.
I would imagine that Mark has targets in mind – he did say there was a plan B after the summer-long pursuit of James Constable ended unsuccessfully – but it is possible that the players he is keen on are not available at the right price. In this situation, it is only right to accept the manager's judgement on the matter because there is little point in bringing in a new player if all they are going to do is make up the numbers rather than improve on what you already have.
The performance at Wycombe – and that of two-goal Eliot Richards in particular – has served to take off some of the pressure to bring in a new face, but should results not go in McGhee's favour over the coming weeks, I'm pretty certain he will have already compiled a list of possibilities with regards to entering the loan market.
Bristol City, meanwhile, have almost concluded their business with only another central defender expected to arrive at Ashton Gate.
Garry Monk seems to be the one that Derek is most interested in – although the indications last night were that a back injury and that the defender is finding it difficult to leave a club he has served with distinction over an eight-year period, which has taken in some 200 games.
Should Derek get him, though, Garry would be a fantastic signing and someone that would go straight in to the side. He is a great professional and would offer Derek the sort of leadership at the heart of defence that you sometimes felt City lacked at times when Louis Carey was unavailable to play last season.
I also wouldn't be surprised to see one or two move away from Ashton Gate as Derek would probably feel he has an embarrassment of riches in certain areas after completing what can only be described as excellent business over the last few weeks.
Albert Adomah is the obvious one that City fans wouldn't want to see go, but with Swansea close to signing Pablo Hernandez from Valencia last night it looks increasingly likely that the winger will stay.
City fans, meanwhile, will probably be pinching themselves at the way the players have started the season.
They, perhaps, were favourites to beat Crystal Palace in their first league game at Ashton Gate – but the margin of victory and the nature of the performance may well have surprised a few.
I think a few more would have been surprised last Saturday to have watched City dismantle a Cardiff side that is tipped to be one of the teams expected to be heavily involved in the promotion race this season. It was a massive result and one that has served to, temporarily at least, fill City fans with optimism. Six points in the bank already! It took eight games to reach that tally last season. The next few weeks, however, are more important for me in determining how City will do this season. I think we all now know that City are capable of winning games that they are not expected to – they showed it a couple of times last season.
They have a couple of those types of games coming in the form of Blackburn, Watford and Leeds – I worry less about these fixtures, however, then the ones against Barnsley and Peterborough. If City are hoping to make a vast improvement on how they fared in the Championship last season then these are the types of games they'd be expected to win.
Interview: James McNamara