Bristol Rovers are floundering in League One at the moment, sitting 21st in the table after a difficult start to their current campaign.
They grabbed a point against Shrewsbury at the weekend, but that was their first in three games after defeats against Southend and Portsmouth. In two of those games they had a man dismissed and manager Daryl Clarke admits things haven’t gone his way so far this season.
“We have lost a bit of trust at the minute, I get that and I hold my hands up for that, so by gaining trust, what do you do? You stand up and be counted first and foremost. You don’t feel sorry for yourself, you don’t wallow in self-pity, you dust yourself down and go again – that’s what footballers have to do, that’s what managers and coaching staff have to do.”
The chance to do that comes this weekend at the Memorial Stadium as they play host to Plymouth Argyle, another side struggling at the wrong end of the table. The visitors are rock bottom with two points from six games, but a win for them would plunge the Gas into even deeper trouble.
It’s unusual to have such a crucial game at this stage of the season, but it is an absolute must win for both sides.
This could be one of the games of the weekend, because both managers are fighting for their lives.
Bristol Rovers will feel they have the upper hand, home advantage and they’ve at least won a game this season, but if there’s one thing Derek Adams knows better than anyone, it is fighting.
Neither side is likely to wallow in self-pity on Saturday afternoon.