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They're now starting to show what a quality squad they have - Thirlwell pre Bristol Rovers

10 March 2022

Club News

They're now starting to show what a quality squad they have - Thirlwell pre Bristol Rovers

10 March 2022

Watch Paul Thirlwell's pre-Bristol Rovers interview here…

Thirlwell on whether he thinks no midweek game this week has been beneficial…

I hope so. It's always nice to have a break and I think most managers/coaches will tell you the games that have been played over the course of the last three or four weeks have been nonstop. We hope it's a chance to address a couple of things and freshen everything up with the lads in their legs and stuff and then be ready to go for the big game on Saturday.

On the positives and areas to improve on from the last four games…

The areas to improve on is just the consistency, really. Those results sort of tell you how it's gone. We played ever so well at Bradford, we were outstanding in the first half on Saturday and we just find ourselves in moments where we're not even under consistent pressure but we're not making the right decisions.

That's something that we're working on every week at the training ground to get better at and hopefully we'll start to see the fruits of that between now and the end of the season.

On ways to improve the decision making…

We can work on it in training but it's difficult to replicate, for argument's sake, on Saturday if there's 9000 fans there. It's difficult to replicate decision making on the training ground in front of all that noise and maybe off the back of one or two mistakes. I think it's just individuals taking responsibility for the game plan and what they're asked to do over the course of 90 minutes rather than 45 or 60.

On Bristol Rover's recent good form…

It's to be expected really when you look at their squad on paper. They started a bit slowly, I imagine slower than how they would have liked but credit to Joey Barton and his staff and the players that they've got. They're now starting to show what a quality squad they do have and again, going back to the little area where we're lacking, they're showing real consistency in the results.

It's not always easy when you first come in to get your ideas across and build the squad that you want. Over a period of time this season, he's (Barton) managed to do that and he seems to have found a stable side, in a stable way of playing and he's getting the fruits of that at the minute.

On the threats the Gas possess…

They've got quite a few. They're a solid side with (Aaron) Collins playing well up front, scoring again in midweek. They've brought (Ryan) Loft in from Scunthorpe which gives them a real physical presence. (Paul) Coutts, (Glen) Whelan, (Sam) Finley in midfield the two Anderson's out wide, so you could go on and they're all in good form at the minute. It's going to be a really tough test but one we're looking forward to and one the players definitely should be looking forward to because I'm sure there's not many that have played there.

On what we need to get right this weekend…

The decision making. Going to a ground where - off the top my head - outside of Bradford, it's probably the biggest crowd to play in front of this season, especially with the way they're playing. They have to manage that which is new, but we've been in this league long enough now, even this season with the crowds being back to be in a position where we have to expect the players to deal with that.

Off the back of that, it's the decision making, the organisation and keeping the switch off moments to a minimum that benefits the team in the long run.


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