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3 factors that will determine Bristol Rovers’ fortunes in season run-in



Bristol Rovers earned a valuable 2-0 win over promotion hopefuls Sunderland on Tuesday night to end a three-game losing streak.

Two second half goals from Jonson Clarke-Harris proved to be the difference and the win should act as a huge boost going into the final months of the season.

Somewhat marooned in mid-table, only a remarkable turn of events would see Rovers mount a challenge for the top six or threatened by relegation.

Therefore, the focus must be on building for next season and a potential run at the top six.

Here are three factors that will determine their fortunes during the run-in…

Fitness of Clarke-Harris

The 25-year-old has done the bulk of the goalscoring for the Gas this season, with the next best after his 13 strikes just three.

Clarke-Harris was again the man on target against Sunderland and keeping him fit will undoubtedly be central to their hopes this season.

Come the summer another player that can add goals will surely be a priority, but for now keeping their current main man fit is vital.

Maintaining defensive improvement

The win over Phil Parkinson’s men was impressive for a number of reasons, but the quality of Rovers’ defence was particularly noteworthy.

Using a back three rather than the back four they utilised in the reverse fixture, they restricted Sunderland to just six shots and only two on target.

With Tony Craig commanding things from his central role this was a huge improvement on the 3-0 defeat to the same opposition just last month.

Persisting with youth

It was promising to see three players 21 or younger in Alfie Kilgour, Connor Hargreaves and Jayden Mitchell-Lawson all getting a start in such a big match.

With a number of young players seeing action this season, it is really important that Rovers continue to give them opportunities and Kilgour has been a success story this term.

While Hargreaves did not have the best game and Mitchell-Lawson did not have too much service, this will have been a valuable learning experience for them both.

ScoopDragon Football News Network

Article title: 3 factors that will determine Bristol Rovers’ fortunes in season run-in

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