In my opinion piece, I will be talking about how I thought my club Bristol Rovers have performed over the course of the season as we reach the halfway point now.
We started the season strong in our first game away to Sunderland which is a tough place to go and salvage a point from a tough game. In that game, I thought we were decent at the back considering we had very little of the ball that game with only 28% possession and struggled to get out of our half. This allowed Sunderland to apply the pressure on our defence and get off a large number of chances at our goal having created 21.
Moving later into the first half of the season we had a decent run going four games unbeaten and only conceding one goal. However, this was soon to come to an end and turned into a poor run of results by picking one point up from a possible four games conceding 10 in the progress.
Under Ben Garner, we had conceded 19 goals, and eight of which came from set-pieces. Since the appointment of Paul Tisdale, we have conceded 14 goals. Seven of which have come from set-pieces in the same amount of games. Defending as a whole there has been a slight improvement conceding five less however there is still an issue with defending set-pieces that need to get addressed. We also have an average of 1.5 goals let in a game. In the most previous game against Peterbourgh United there was a clear improvement from the game on saturday against Oxford United where you could see clearly that the players showed some passion and fought grinding out a 0-0 draw with a team that scores lots of goals.
In our last 5 games since Joey Barton had arrived on 22nd February i would say their has been a slight improvement but the goals are still coming from the same things. Restarts with us losing late on at home to Wigan with Ayunga giving away a cheap free-kick late in added time which proved to be the last kick of the game with Rovers’ dominating the most part of the game. In the next game at home to Shrewsbury the Gas had won 2-1 but that was close to not happening with Rovers’ conceding a corner in the 97th minute but luckily substitute goalkeeper Jordi Van Stappershoef came to the rescue and played a key part in the outcome of the game. over the course of the 5 games in charge Barton’s team have only conceded 2 goals from set-pieces coming in the loss against Wigan and the massive 4-1 over Accrington.