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Archived News from March 2006

27th March 2006 0:21

Audio interview with Peter Shirtliff from Mansfield 103.2: listen here
Audio interview with Peter Shirtliff from BBC Radio Nottingham (RealPlayer needed)

transcription from Shirtliff interview on 103.2,
by Michael, editor, http://www.stagsmad.co.uk

"It was frustrating, and a naive performance in many ways. Bristol Rovers controlled the game in terms of keeping the pressure on. We were kicking against the wind in the 1st half and we didn't really play the conditions"

"It's not really necessary in this league that we are out of the game at 2-0, I thought if we could get to 2-0 at half time we'd be playing the best way. We played better 2nd half, but i thought we didn't put enough balls into the box, and we tried to play too much football on a difficult pitch. Lennie Lawrence said to me after the match that he thought we had footballers in the team, but sometimes you have to play the conditions"

"You can't play too much football, you have to get some balls into the box to put the defenders under pressure"

"We have a settled back four, but Alex (Baptise) has a sore knee, but i thought Rhys came in and did ok, I think Alex will be fit quite soon"

"With 10 minutes to go, i thought if we had got one goal, we might have gone on to get an equalizer, it wasn't to be, the keeper made a good save from Richie, but we didn't do enough to put them under pressure."

"The players have done well, they are young, and they'll learn from playing on this surface, we'll do some work on playing on certain surfaces, it isn't going to easy, they need to learn to be more resiliant away from home"

"I'm not thinking about next season, i'm looking to get as many points as possible this season"

The League Paper
Shirtliff said: "We have had a good run with some good results but didn't adapt to the conditions as well as Rovers.
"We were a bit naive trying to play fancy football on a difficult pitch,we should have been more direct and got balls into the box.We created a few opportunities in the second half but didn't do enough.We gave away poor goals and if you do that you lose games.
"We have been too easy to beat away from home,too many goals conceded and too many defeats."

Bristol Rovers manager Paul Trollope also added: "Mansfield improved in the second half,but never really caused us any problems."



Paul Trollope was pleased with what he described as a "very professional" display against Mansfield Town this afternoon.

The Rovers first team coach hailed the performance of his team, admitting the three-point haul has once again made the possibility of reaching the play-offs a little less unlikely.

Sammy Igoe opened the scoring for the home side with Richard Walker adding another three minutes later, moving Rovers up to ninth place in League Two and just a win away from seventh placed Lincoln City.

"I think we got out of the traps the best we have all season," Paul told bristolrovers.co.uk, "I asked the question to the players if we could start the match today like we have played at times after going a goal down, and we did that.

"We started with a good tempo, we had a few openings and then we got the goal. And when we got one goal I wanted us to get another, and then another. We didn't quite get the third, but it was a pleasing win nonetheless.

"We feel we were worthy winners - they did improve in the second half, but we stayed focused when they came at us and our concentration for 90 minutes was good. I was delighted with that, and delighted to keep a clean sheet as well.

"We were very professional for the whole game, we made good decisions when we needed to, and we were always a threat - especially on the break."

He continued: "After the three defeats of last week I couldn't ask for much more from the players. There wasn't total pressure on us to win, but it was a game we didn't want to lose because that would have been four in a row and quite possibly our season over.

"But today, as much as I was pleased with the win and the three points, I was pleased that there was no anxiety or nerves for the last 20 minutes and that in the end it was all quite comfortable."

Paul was full of praise for his striking duo of Richard Walker and Junior Agogo, with the latter's display especially pleasing.

"They set the tone for us," he said, "In terms of work rate if they are at it and working hard, then we tend to push up behind them with the rest of the team following suit.

"They got hold of the ball and caused us problems, and you could see today from Junior's display how much we missed him. Not just what he can do, but his impact and affect on others, and although he tired towards the end of the second half, what he gave us today I was very pleased with."

Rovers travel to Wycombe Wanderers next weekend looking to close the gap on the top seven teams still further, and Paul is confident of a good result at the Causeway Stadium.

"We said that with three points for a win and the league as tight as it is that everything can change on one Saturday afternoon," he said, "Things changed a little bit today, and maybe next week they'll change a bit more.

"We feel we can go to Wycombe and look forward to it. They didn't manage to beat Orient today, but they play their football in the right way, and hopefully we can go there and get our away form back to how it has been.

"If we can do that, then I think we'll quite fancy ourselves to get a result there."



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