With Rovers already 10 games in, @jamesdixonbrfc looks at how they’ve done and what needs to change.
Rovers played their 10th league game of the 2017/18 season last Saturday, beating Gillingham 1-0 in a hard fought victory.
That places Rovers in the top 6 with a game in hand. Already, this has been a season of ups and downs, great performances and bad.
Rovers started the season with 2 losses in a row, losing to both Southend and Doncaster. Questions were asked about the formation and the team selection.
These questions were answered when both were changed and Rovers won 4 games in a row, against Bradford, MK Dons, Rochdale and Scunthorpe. Next came a home game, where Rovers could not find the net against AFC Wimbledon, who beat us 1-0 at home.
After this, Rovers were forced to a 1-1 draw with Shrewsbury, with Tony Mowbray calling this, “the worst performance of the season.” Despite this, the men in Blue and White went on to beat Rotherham and Gillingham in consecutive games.
Rovers now sit 6th on 19 points, 10 points behind league leaders Shrewsbury. There has been a very big change in performances since the beginning of the season, and we have started to play much better football, especially going forward. The team is now feeling less like a squad of individuals and more like a team that wants to play together, and knows each other well.
The togetherness of the team is shown on platforms such as Instagram, where players are always together and having fun off the field. This is great for team spirit and morale. Also, we seem to have a much higher attacking threat than we did at the start of the season, with Antonsson, Samuel, Dack, Chapman and more coming into their own with great performances.
Despite these positives, defensively we have still looked shaky. Both Williams and Mulgrew have not showed the same level of performance as they did last season. Williams always seems to be caught out of position.
We seem to occasionally rely on David Raya to get us out of compromising positions. Richie Smallwood also seems to be relied upon to make the ‘dirty’ tackles that our other players don’t seem to want to make. We also always create our own problems, and goals from the opposition usually come because of something we did bad, not something the other team did well. Many of our clean sheets have been extremely lucky, as the other teams should’ve scored one or more. End of the day though, it’s a results business.
In conclusion, the performances have been what we’ve needed, however I feel we need an extra push defensively to solidify our team. We get clean sheets, however this is usually due to poor attack’s from the opposition attack and not due to our own defensive security. However, when both Darragh Lenihan and Scott Wharton come back into the fold, I have no doubt this will change.
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