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Match Previews

In focus: Bristol Rovers match preview

25 February 2021

Take a closer look at the latest stats and facts in our match preview ahead of Town's Sky Bet League One clash with Bristol Rovers.

Bristol Rovers have endured a difficult first half to their Sky Bet League One season as they find themselves currently occupying a relegation place in 21st position. However, there is hope for the Gas as Joey Barton joins the club as their new manager as they look to steer clear of the relegation places.

With a squad full of quality, Salop will be preparing for a tough test at the Memorial Stadium as Steve Cotterill's men look to make it five games unbeaten. With Brandon Hanlan leading the line, Town will have their work cut out as they look to take a result back to Shropshire.

Name: Bristol Rovers Football Club

Nickname: The Gas or The Pirates

Founded: 1883 (137 years ago

Stadium: Memorial Stadium

Capacity: 12,296

Chairman/owner: Wael al-Qadi

Biggest win: 7-0 v Swansea Town, Division Two, 2nd October 1954

Biggest loss: 0-12 v Luton Town, Division Three (South), 13th April 1936

Highest League finish: 6th, Division Two, 1955-56, 1958-59

Read David Longwell's thoughts ahead of the tie...

Feature

David Longwell previews Town's clash with Bristol Rovers

The Manager - Joey Barton

Joey Barton took charge of his first game with Bristol Rovers during mid-week but it wasn't the dream start the former Fleetwood Town Gaffer would have hoped for as his new team lost out to Wigan Athletic.

Barton's managerial career began with Fleetwood in June 2018 following his retirement from playing a year earlier. However, Barton was relieved of his duties with the Cod Army in January 2021 - leaving the Club with a win percentage of 39.8.

A former midfielder, Barton spent the majority of his playing days in the Premier League - most notably with Manchester City, Newcastle United, and Queens Park Rangers. As well as this, the England international spent time with Marseille in France and with Rangers in Scotland.

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Goalkeeper - Joe Day

Joe Day joined the Gas on loan from Cardiff City in early January 2021.

The goalkeeper, formerly of Newport County, joined the Gas for a spell until the end of the season, providing cover for an injury to Anssi Jaakkola.

Defender - Cian Harries

The defender joined the Gas on a permanent basis in January 2020, arriving from Swansea City.

Harries’ youth career started at Aston Villa, where he joined at the age of seven but on his release at the age of 14, he joined the Coventry City academy. The defender rose through the ranks with the Sky Blues and signed professional terms in 2015.

Most recently, the defender has gained experience in the Dutch top-flight during a loan spell with Fortuna Sittard, making eight appearances and scoring his first professional goal. Following his move to the Gas, Cian had three run-outs for Rovers before the 2019/20 campaign was cut short.

Midfielder - Luke McCormick

Former Town loanee, McCormick joined the Gas on a season-long loan from Chelsea in the summer of 2020. The 22-year-old is enjoying life with the Gas and managed to net his first goal for the club in Rovers' 3-0 triumph over Plymouth Argyle in December 2020.

The midfielder joins the home side with good pedigree as the Suffolk-born playmaker joined Chelsea just aged six. 

Forward - Brandon Hanlan

Hanlan joined the Gas just prior to the opening game of the 2020/21 season.

Hanlan made his professional debut for Charlton Athletic back in 2016, the club he joined in 2012 at academy level, coming on late on in a Sky Bet League One tie against Bury. The following season, Hanlan began a string on loan spells to kick on his development with first-team experience, picking up game time at Colchester United and Bromley.

Following his release from Charlton at the end of the 2018 season, Hanlan signed with Gillingham. In his debut campaign for the Gills, the forward found the net on 9 occasions and was awarded Young Player of the Season. He followed that season up with 7 goals in 40 across all competitions, before completing a switch to the Gas in the summer. He now takes the number 9 shirt under Ben Garner for the 2020/21 season.

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League average stats:

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Officials:

Referee: Paul Howard
Assistants: Justin Amey and Paul Lister
Fourth Official: John Busby

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