Bristol Rovers defender Josh Grant insists his side need to focus on themselves ahead of the visit of Leyton Orient on Saturday. The O’s visit the Memorial Stadium riding high in League Two but the 22 year old highlights Rovers need to start getting results. Speaking to bristolrovers.co.uk “we’ve really got to focus on ourselves and start producing what we know we can do”.
Rovers fell to a 1-0 defeat away at Hartlepool last weekend thanks to a Jamie Sterry strike. Manager Joey Barton bemoaned another individual error which cost his side in the North East stating to Bristolrovers.co.uk “the frustration in the camp is an individual error has cost us. I’m really pleased with the lads effort, they battle galiantly and kept going. But we must be better”.
After a summer of change for Rovers following their relegation from League One, Barton has near enough changed the playing personnel at the Memorial. WIth 17 incomings, it will certainly take some time for the players to gel but signs are showing on the training ground according to Grant. Speaking to Bristolrovers.co.uk “when you change the group like we have it’s never going to be easy. On the training pitch you can see it is coming together, we’ve got the bit between our teeth. We need to start doing it on matchday”.
Barton is suffering on the injury front revealing both Leon Clarke and Sam Nicholson are out injured for a period of time. Despite the setback the 39 year old highlights Orient will not be feeling sorry for them on Saturday. Speaking to bristolrovers.co.uk “it is part and parcel, you have to be adaptable over the course of the season. Orient will be rubbing their hands together thinking it is a great opportunity on Saturday to continue their good start to the season. We have to come up with some different situations to give ourselves a good opportunity to win the game”.
Rovers are playing in the fourth tier for the first time since 2015/2016 and their return has got off to the best start. Despite picking up just seven points from their opening seven games, Grant is not phased and insists his side will start to find form. Speaking to bristolrovers.co.uk “their is no panic from our side, we are level headed and we understand the difficulties which are coming. When the team is not winning every week the best place to be is on the training ground working hard every day”
Orient haven’t only lost once in the league this season and Barton is not surprised that the O’s are up amongst the early pace setters. The 39 year old worked with Kenny Jackett at Man City back in 2007 when he was reserve team manager. Speaking to bristolrovers.co.uk “I have known Kenny for a long time, we worked with each other at Man City. They are organised, difficult to play against , there was no surprise they have started in the manner they have. He is someone who the division, has a lot of coaching experience and are one of the teams to catch”.
Rovers are looking for a fourth consecutive home win for the first time since April 2017 when Orient visit tomorrow with Barton keen for his side to continue their form at the Memorial. Speaking to bristolrovers.co.uk “every game brings pressure especially when you want to win every one. We haven’t conceded a goal in the last three and we must continue that when the real early pace setters are coming. If we’re going to be successful our home ground needs to be a fortress and a real difficult place for teams to come”.
Leon Clarke (hamstring), Sam Nicholson (bruised bone), Alex Rodman (broken foot), Anssi Jaakkola (achilles) and Trevor Clark all remained sidelined through injury. Glen Whelan looks set to continue in midfield after making his debut at Hartlepool last Saturday. Brett Pitman could start in the absence of Clarke in attack.
Head to Head – Bristol Rovers 47, Draw 27, Leyton Orient 40
Rovers have won two of the last three meetings