Two wins in a row would be such a boost, says Bristol Rovers manager Mark McGhee
BRISTOL Rovers boss Mark McGhee says achieving back-to-back victories for the first time this season could offer his side the confidence to spark an improvement in results before the end of the year.
Rovers have been plagued by inconsistency this season and sit just four points clear of the relegation zone.
The manager, however, watched his side end a losing run of four games with a 3-2 victory over Chesterfield at the Memorial Stadium last weekend and is hopeful Rovers will build on that success by claiming back-to-back victories for the first time this season when they go to Rochdale tomorrow.
"It would be a fantastic boost for our confidence if we could win two in a row," said McGhee. "With the likes of Matt Gill, Cian Bolger and Danny Woodards all coming back in to contention over the next few weeks as well, I think we have an opportunity to really kick on for the first time this season.
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"A couple of wins and increased competition for places would give us a real platform to build off going into the Christmas period.
"The availability of our key players will really improve our ability to be consistent.
"We've been working hard to patch things up as we've gone along, but ultimately you need your best players to be consistent."
He added: "It was a relief to win the game last weekend and that always makes the training ground a nicer place to be over the following week.
"The training ground has always been a good place to be here, however, so I have stopped concerning myself with how things appear on the training ground.
"We're always saying week-in-week-out that the boys have trained well and have done everything we have asked of them.
"Then we go and play a game where we don't always do as well as we would have hoped. We're just taking each game at a time at the moment, but I do feel that we have enough in the squad to go and do well and to get a result."
McGhee is expected to offer Michael Smith a start in place of Matt Lund, who is banned, while Danny Woodards is getting closer to a return to the starting line-up following his recovery from a broken leg, but is still expected to be among the substitutes tomorrow.
The manager has hinted Woodards may return in a midfield role once he is fully fit following some encouraging displays from Lund since he was deployed as an emergency right-back for the first time at the start of last month.
"Danny was our player of the year last season, so he will get back in the team eventually," said McGhee. "I don't know if it will be at the expense of Matt Lund because he has been outstanding.
"We may decide to re-introduce Danny in front of Matt Lund or in a slightly tucked-in midfield role. Danny is a fantastic defender, but he also has great energy and is a good passer of the ball and would certainly have no problem in slotting into a midfield role."
McGhee was at Spotland to see Rochdale lose an FA Cup first-round replay at home to Morecambe on Tuesday night, and he said: "I think they will be disappointed to have gone out of the FA Cup and that will make it a difficult game for us.
"They are a good side with two or three very dangerous players coming back in to make them even stronger."