Third pre-season game tomorrow
Rovers are back at The Showgrounds Saturday for game three of pre-season at 4pm.
The Irish Defence Forces will be the visitors to take on Dave Robertson’s side.
This game will be played on the astro pitch at The Showgrounds as the main pitch is protected. Therefore there will be no admission charge for the game but donations can be made to bucket collectors at the ground.
A near-full squad will again be available for Rovers with just John Russell missing due to injury while Jaanai Gordon will join with the squad from Monday.
The game comes fresh after the Bit o’Red played on Wednesday night in a close game with Liverpool u-21s with Robertson eyeing further improvements for his side: “We resumed training on Thursday with a recovery session. Afterwards we had the opportunity to review the game from Wednesday and see what we were able to get from it. The players have been very good in training today and tomorrow give us the chance to implement the things we want to improve upon.
“In particular we would like to work on the chances we created and be more clinical and ruthless with our finishing. As well we would like to work on our quick combination play in the attacking areas so we can put the icing on the cake to some of our moves. But we are definitely getting closer to how I want us to play.”
Robertson says that tomorrow will bring another different test for his team: “The Defence Forces will give us a different challenge to playing Liverpool. It will be more of a physical challenge. I have spoken to the players at training today and told them not to take them lightly. They will provide strong opposition and a tough game. If we don’t take the right approach we will be caught out. The players know the mentality they will need and that’s not to take our opposition lightly.”
He continued by saying that he was pleased with the way the team performed against Liverpool which he says should give a demonstration of how he hopes the team to perform during the rest of 2016: “How we played against Liverpool is a good indication of the style I want to see from the team all season. The key was that we stuck to our style for the full game, despite the challenging conditions. Tomorrow we will look to maintain that and play in the right way. I want to see us play with better combinations and bring more quality to our finishing. Creating more chances and scoring more goals is important as that is what I want us to be doing.”
Despite conditions not being ideal this time of year Robertson is delighted to be able to prepare his side without interruption during pre-season: “The facilities here are second to none. And that was one of the keys for me when coming here. It is fantastic for us to have these facilities here so that we can give the players what they need. We have been able to do good work at training day in, day out on a quality surface. It gives them the very best opportunity possible.
“It’s great that no matter what the conditions we can get the game on and have the preparation needed. We will be mixing the squad around from the last night to make sure everybody gets 90 minutes in their legs over the course of the two games to help their conditioning. And we will also be working on developing things tactically and with our style of play.”