The Pirates Tale
August 21, 2015
The Football Lab spoke to Bristol Rovers supporter James Allen.
Supporters might be interested in reading his views of the side and the club for the season ahead.
1. You were involved in many low-scoring games in the Conference. Was this down to the style of football Rovers played, or the defensive mentality of opposing teams?
Clarke always tried to play a possession-based, attacking style of football so I wouldn’t say it was due to our style of play more the strength of the players in those positions and the opposition recognising that we would be one of the top teams in the league. Our defense was mainly the same defense that got relegated from League 2 but conceded around the 10th least league goals so we were always going to be solid defensively. Taylor struggled for consistency and lacked a goal-scoring partner alongside him before Harrison came into the first team and into form.
2. Manager Darrell Clarke has admitted that it has been a tough summer, saying that prospective new players have ‘ridiculous’ wage demands. Are you concerned that only 3 players had been brought in by late July?
I would say slightly yes, but 95% of the team that got us promoted is still here and I believe that, not only their ability, but the team ethic that was created will carry into League 2 and ensure a successful campaign. We still lack a few players in key areas to add depth but I believe Clarke will address this before the end of the window.
3. Conference side Woking kept 12 of their 14 clean sheets in the 30 league games that defender James Clarke played, which highlights his influence. Are you pleased he has signed for Bristol Rovers?
If I’m honest I didn’t know anything about Clarke before he signed but I heard from Woking fans he is a fast, strong CB who is comfortable on the ball and the first few games of the season he has been solid. Clarke’s also useful because we can slot him into fullback if required.
4. Bristol Rovers aside, what are your thoughts ahead of the League Two season as a whole? Who do you think will do well? Which teams might struggle?
I would say Portsmouth, Luton, Cambridge and Leyton Orient are sides that will do well this season as they have all invested money into their squads. At the other end of the table Dagenham & Redbridge, Accrington and Yeovil look like teams that haven’t got much in their squads, although I think Yeovil will be safe from the drop.
5. Where will you finish?
At the start of the season with our lack of new faces I would’ve said a solid campaign back into the league and would guess 11th place but after three games we’ve picked up 6/9 points with encouraging performances. I would now say a season of ‘flirting’ with the playoffs but ultimately not quite have enough so I will go with 9th place.
To read the rest of the 14 questions interview:- CLICK HERE