Chris Wilder's notes in today's matchday magazine
We welcome a big club today with great support who will make this another great occasion I am sure. Reading between the lines Bristol Rovers have had injuries and suspensions this season which have made it hard to gather momentum, something we certainly found in similar circumstances last year. They held the league leaders to a draw on Saturday and will want to get the same result here that they got last year so we look forward to another good game this afternoon.
Rovers’ draw with Chesterfield gave us the opportunity to go top but you know me well enough by now to know that we won’t get carried away. That doesn’t mean a great deal right now, it is what happens over the next six months that counts. It is far more important just to keep racking up the points and keep doing the right things. Apart from a slow first half against Accrington we have played well over the last four games and two wins and two draws have been our reward. It is important to keep putting runs of results together like this.
In the last home game against Exeter I thought we played well and with a bit more quality in the final third could have won a very tight game. We then took that on to AFC Wimbledon and were delighted to get the win. We seem to have a decent record against them and while our general form has been good our away form has been magnificent. The players are all in good nick and last Saturday we were missing some big players but still got a fantastic result. We had good contributions from the start and the lads that came on played a full part as well. Deane Smalley hadn’t played for a couple of weeks but showed what he can do and I thought that Josh Ruffels and Scott Davies did a job for us when they came on
The only negative was a booking for Tom Newey which I was disappointed about. After 25 minutes, and without even a previous talking to, he gets a yellow which puts him out of today’s game. That will mean a shuffle but we welcome back Dave Kitson, Alfie Potter, Deane Smalley and hopefully Johnny Mullins as well so it is good to have those options.
The players are doing fine and there was a great atmosphere after the game last Saturday. That was also down to the fantastic away support which made such a noise behind our dugout. It was great to be right in the middle of you all and everyone who travelled played a part. Hopefully we can all do that again today and pick up another win