Bristol Rovers

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League 1

Round 5

2019-08-24 16:00:00 More Previews
League 1
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Season Guide
2019/2020

Bristol Rovers

In


Kyle Bennett (Swindon - loan ended), Sam Matthews (mid) (Eastleigh - loan ended), Bernard Mensah (mid) (Aldershot - loan ended), Tyler Smith (att) (Sheffield United - loan), Josh Hare (def) (Eastleigh), Luke Leahy (def) (Walsall), Mark Little (def) (Bolton), Anssi Jaakkola (gk) (Reading), Tom Davies (def) (Coventry), Jordi van Stappershoef (gk) (Volendam)

Out


Alex Jakubiak (sp) (att) (Watford - loan ended), Jack Bonham (r) (gk) (Brentford - loan ended), Daniel Leadbitter (sp) (def) (Newport), Tom Lockyer (k) (def) (Charlton), Stuart Sinclair (sp) (mid) (Walsall), Adam Smith (sp) (gk) (Forest Green), Joe Partington (def) (Eastleigh), Chris Lines (r) (mid) (Northampton), James Clarke (sp) (def) (Walsall), Sam Slocombe (sp) (gk) (released)

Bristol Rovers had an up and down 2018/19 season. They initially struggled badly, which caused them to part ways with long-serving boss Darrell Clarke, but Graham Coughlan excelled after taking over and eventually guided them to safety. Coughlan spoke several times about how he was delighted to finally get a chance to manage on his own. He managed to motivate and organize his men last time around but now faces a new test, as he will be managing what is very much his own squad. The Gas have had a bit of a clearout during the summer, but have kept the majority of their truly important players, with the sole exception being Tom Lockyer, with the Welsh international being snapped up by Charlton. However, a number of interesting signings have been made. Bristol Rovers have two new full-backs in Luke Leahy and Mark Little, both proven at this level, while Tom Davies, who signs from Coventry, will complete a new-look back four. Interestingly enough, they have also released two and signed two keepers, so they will enter the season with a completely new back five. While Coughlan has mostly reorganized defence, his side's main undoing last season was their lack of goals at home. Tyler Smith signs on loan from Sheffield United and will try to help the Gas in this regard, but one cannot help but shake off the impression that they never really addressed Ellis Harrison's move to Ipswich a year ago. They will be hoping to maintain their decent form under Coughlan, but a lot will depend on whether they will now manage to find the goals they need.

Target


The Gas will want to keep improving and finish inside the midtable places.

Season Review
2018/2019

№15: Bristol Rovers

Bristol Rovers once again entered the season hoping to punch above their weight and push for a play-off place, but it soon became apparent that the Gas's reality is much harsher than that. With a misfiring attack and an out-of-form midfield, they struggled to implement Darrell Clarke's preferred attacking brand of football and spent the majority of the first half of the season inside the relegation zone. The board showed Clarke plenty of patience, but his position eventually became untenable and he left the club in December, being the fourth-longest serving Football League manager at the time. He was replaced by interim Graham Coughlan, who managed to steady the ship and was eventually given the job on a full-time basis. He made the Gas play a much more pragmatic brand of football, which allowed their results to improve, especially on their travels. It took him nearly three months in charge to move his side away from the drop zone for good but, once moving clear of the danger zone, the Gas never looked back. Coughlan will now have the summer to make the squad his own and time will tell whether the improved form under him was the consequence of the new manager bounce, or a sign of things to come.


Player of the Season: Tom Lockyer

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