Bristol Rovers take a second trip to Lancashire in the space of 5 days as they look to find their first win in eight when they face Fleetwood Town.
The Gas have to put their last trip to Lancashire behind them though, a 6-1 thrashing by Accrington in midweek ensured that Rovers were now only above the relegation zone on goal difference and with the Gas being on the winless streak that they are, some fans are starting to worry about dropping to the fourth tier.
After Rovers’ dismal display at Accrington, some fans voiced their frustrations on social media with Rovers captain Max Ehmer coming under fire for his recent performances and the summer signing from Gillingham has written an open letter to fans thanking them for their continued support during these tough times both on and off the pitch, with an abstract of it detailed below.
“We appreciate the support that fans are giving us, albeit from home during these challenging times.
“Tuesday’s performance was unacceptable and fell substantially short of what we expect to produce when representing Bristol Rovers. We want to extend a sincere apology to all those who spent their hard-earned money watching us online.
“We understand and respect the responsibility of wearing the blue and white quarters and we are determined to repay your faith in us as players and put in the hard work to turn around the results between now and the end of the season.”
“There’s still a lot of football left to be played and we know that only us as players can correct the disappointment from Tuesday’s result.”
Rovers will be without both Abu Ogogo and Josh Barrett for the foreseeable future after the pair were left out of squad registration due to injury. This means Rovers have a 21-man squad with Paul Tisdale having one eye on the free agent market with calls for a striker to be added.
Fleetwood go into the game having recently appointed a new manager, with former Blackpool boss Simon Grayson taking charge of his first game this weekend.
The Cod Army had terminated previous boss Joey Barton’s contract with Fleetwood just three points off the play offs.
Fast forward a month, Fleetwood are winless in the four matches since Barton’s departure and have slipped down to 15th place and now nine points off the top six but new boss Grayson insists that he has the attributes needed to bring success to Highbury Stadium.
“I’m passionate and have the hunger and desire,” Grayson told the club’s website.
“I want to be successful; every club I go into, I want to make them a better football club and leave them in a better state than when I walked through the door and that was the case with the first four clubs with the promotions.
“I’m going to back my ability, I’m going to back that I’m going to be here, and it would be foolish of me not to help the football club to do what they want to do in the summer. I’ve got a good affiliation with the owner; we go back a long way so hopefully, we can work together and make the club successful.”
Grayson will have deadline day signing Daniel Batty available after the midfielder joined from fellow League One side Hull City for an undisclosed fee.
Harrison Biggins was recalled from his loan spell at League Two Barrow and may be in line for a place in the squad following his return to the club.
Charlie Mulgrew is unavailable for the game through suspension though, after the Scotland international was sent off in the 1-0 defeat at Oxford last time out.
Fleetwood Predicted XI (4-1-2-1): Cairns (GK), Donacien, Connolly, Holgate, Andrew, Rossiter, Batty, Duffy, Camps, Vassell, Madden
Rovers Predicted XI (4-2-3-1):
Max and Mets: Fleetwood Town 2-0 The Gas
Simon: Fleetwood Town 3-1 The Gas