Bristol Rovers Boss Remains Cautious Despite Comeback Win at Stevenage

Bristol Rovers manager Matt Taylor praised his side for a 3-2 comeback victory at Stevenage in League One on Tuesday but reiterated the club’s need to band together amidst a current injury crisis.

The Gas trailed 2-0 at the Lamex after just 24 minutes before Taylor made tactical tweaks that changed the course of the match. Scott Sinclair came on for Elkan Baggott mid-way through the first half, which saw momentum shift in Bristol Rovers‘ favour.

Taylor’s side started to attack the wide areas straight after Sinclair’s introduction, and Luke Thomas pulled a goal back on 29 minutes. Despite coming under continuous pressure for most of the encounter, Rovers showed a clinical touch with a quickfire double as Chris Martin and Anthony Evans struck in the second period to complete the comeback.

It was a third League One victory in five for the Gas. But the longer-term form of just three league wins in 2024 leaves Taylor’s side 10th in the standings and 12 points off the play-off places.

When reflecting on the Stevenage win, Taylor told the Bristol Post that the players and fans must rally together and keep standards high for the run-in. However, the Pirates boss also addressed how deep injury issues in the squad, leading to the absence of several key players like Harvey Vale, have impacted his side.

“I think they can see it. We all share each other’s frustrations when results don’t go our way but I could talk at length about our 10 injuries, eight of which are probably starting players, but that’s an excuse. Everyone’s got problems in their club. But we just need to stick together for a little bit longer and understand where the expectations are.”

“They’ve changed the manager already this season because of a poor run, poor results, partly because of injuries and availability. It’s a weak group at the moment. I can see it on a daily basis, as much as the messages that we’re giving them are to build and back up, the game just goes bang in any form. When that happens they need to see strength and I’ve spoken about that and they just need to see strength behind them for a little bit longer and that was my message to the fans, and they could sense it.

“That’s what I want a Bristol Rovers team to look like. It might not happen for the next 14 games but we’ll sure as hell try.”

Writer’s View

Taylor remains cautious after his side’s enthralling victory over Stevenage. While the result was a huge scalp against a tough-to-beat side, Taylor clearly feels his side lacks depth with so many injuries, hence the call for everyone to pull together.

But the manner of such a victory like the one at the Lamex on Tuesday cannot be underestimated. Results like this can galvanise a squad, no matter how ravaged by injury, and Rovers will surely be looking up League One at the play-off places.

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