Bristol Rovers travel to Barrow this weekend looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat last time out.
Rovers made the trip to Exeter last weekend in good spirits after claiming their first win of the season only to find themselves 4-0 down inside 25 minutes at St James’ Park.
A better second half followed with the scoreline being 4-1 come the full time whistle but Joey Barton’s side will have to improve and quickly as they look to bounce back to the third tier at the first time of asking.
Barton did welcome Brandon Hanlan back to the side, with the former Gillingham man who is wanted by Lincoln and Wycombe coming off the bench last weekend.
Fellow Striker Brett Pitman, also recovering from injury, found the net only to be flagged for offside and Barton has confirmed that the former Portsmouth forward is playing through pain at the moment.
“Those little cameos are great for him, but we thought we’d done his Achilles,” Barton told BristolLive.
“Luckily he didn’t and when they went for the scan, I’m not a physio or a doctor but there’s a tendon next to your Achilles that you don’t need.
“I don’t know how it’s possible but you don’t need it and his is three-quarters of the way torn, so at some point it’s going to go and the only way it goes is by running or playing.
“When it goes, he’s going to miss 7-10 days and then it’ll settle back down and then he’ll be good to go.”
Barton will be without Jack Baldwin after the defender made his final appearance for the club in the defeat to Exeter, he signed for Ross County earlier this week. Anssi Jaakkola may return between the sticks after making the bench last time out.
Barrow go into the game looking to bounce back from a heavy defeat themselves, albeit to a Premier League side in the Carabao Cup.
The Bluebirds were thrashed 6-0 by Aston Villa in midweek in what new boss Mark Cooper claimed that the only positive from it was the money gained from it.
Cooper, who took charge in the summer also stated that his opposite number on Saturday would have watched the game and will be relishing the weekend’s fixture.
“Joey Barton will be rubbing his hands together watching that on television,” Cooper told The Mail.
“We have played 94 minutes against a decent Premier League team and we got our pants pulled down.
“We are out on our feet so we have got to try and recover. Saturday is a big game for us because we need to bounce back.
“We need to show real resilience. We only have 14 fit players but we have got to come out fighting,” demanded Cooper.
“Our fans have been brilliant since day one hopefully they can stick with the players.
“Hopefully, they can see the players are giving everything.”.
One positive for Cooper is that he has no new injury concerns. The Bluebirds do though look set to remain without former Villa youngster Dimitri Sea, while Matty Platt could return but remains a doubt with a back problem.
Mike Jones is building his fitness after undergoing Achilles surgery, Jamie Devitt is still receiving treatment for a thigh injury and Tom Beadling is out longer term with a partial tear in his cruciate ligament.
Barrow Predicted XI (3-4-3): Farman(GK); Brown, Ellis, Grayson; Hutton, White, Banks, Gordon, Brough; Kay, Zanzala
Bristol Rovers Predicted XI (3-4-2-1):
Max: Barrow 1-0 The Gas
Jack: Barrow 1-1 The Gas
Simon: Barrow 1-2 The Gas