It’s another week and another opportunity for Bristol Rovers to bounce back from a defeat under Joey Barton as they entertain Carlisle United at the Memorial Stadium.
The Gas were well beaten by Swindon last time out in a match where former Rovers boss Ben Garner returned to haunt Gasheads in a dominant display that the home fans never got to see when he was in charge.
Defeat in the fixture left Rovers in 20th place, three points off the bottom two after 10 games played and after the loss, owner Wael Al-Qadi gave Barton his vote of confidence.
“The start of the season hasn’t been the start we wanted but the board has full support for Joey and the squad,” Wael Al-Qadi told ITV.
“A change of manager will bring us back to square one. If you look at Joe throughout his career he’s flourished from rising from these situations of difficulty. And I believe this will happen at Rovers.
“People are emotional when you lose and it’s been like this for two years.
“It’s frustrating as a football club. We are desperate to get out of this, Joe is desperate to get out of this, the players are desperate to get out of this.”
Barton will be without the suspended Alfie Kilgour for the match after the central defender was sent off in the loss to Swindon. Barton could also be without Connor Taylor dependent on concussion protocols. This opens up a door back into the side for Nick Anderton who hasn’t featured from the statrt in the last few games.
Barton may also opt to trust youth for the match with the Rovers U23s thrashing Forest Green U23s 5-1 in midweek with Pablo Martinez getting some valuable minutes in his comeback from injury.
Carlisle go into the game having had a rather inconsistent start, much like their opponents this weekend.
The U’s are only above Rovers on goal difference and are winless in four league games so will be looking to bounce back to winning ways in Bristol this weekend.
Carlisle were beaten by table toppers Forest Green last time out in a match which saw them leak another goal from a set piece and manager Chris Beech has said that his side need to be focused during quick restarts.
“I think in the other fixtures that was more of a concentration [issue] and a lack of intense thoughts when the game’s dead,” Beech told The News and Star.
“The ball goes out of play, it’s important to stay concentrated and energised.
“When you look at the goal at Crawley [and the two for Scunthorpe], you’ve got the situation where the lads have got their man markers and we’ve got two screeners, and when I look at the goals in detail, they’re all avoidable if the lads are doing what they normally do.
“This time they did that better but you are playing against a that sniffs a goal in those situations; he knows they’re his bread and butter to try and get his 15-20 goals, and he got he better of Jonathan on one occasion really, and it goes in the back of the net. It happens.”
Beech has no new injury concerns ahead of the game however will more than likely opt to change things up in a bid to return to winning ways which could mean a start for Zach Clough or Tristan Abrahams.
Bristol Rovers Predicted XI (3-4-2-1):
Carlisle United Predicted XI (4-3-3): Norman (GK); Riley, Feeney, Dinzeyi, Armer; Guy, Whelan, Mellish; Abrahams, Clough, Dickenson.
Mets and Simon: The Gas 2-1 Carlisle United
Max: The Gas 1-1 Carlisle United
Sam: The Gas 1-3 Carlisle United