Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton will have been left fuming by his players as they fell to a 2-0 defeat away at rivals Plymouth Argyle on Saturday, with the Gas failing to scorer despite having 22 shots throughout the 90 minutes.
It was a performance which once again underlined the various issues that Barton is facing in charge of his new club since taking over the job recently from the departed Paul Tisdale, with the League One side still very much in a relegation dog fight.
Defeats to Charlton Athletic and Plymouth have seen Rovers slip closer to the mire and as a result they sit just outside the relegation zone on goal difference alone.
<br /> Bristol Rovers quiz: 19 facts you may not know about the Memorial Stadium – But are they true?
Here, we round up all of the latest news from the Memorial Stadium as the Gas prepare for their vital game against fellow strugglers Swindon Town tomorrow.
Barton blasts Ehmer
The Bristol Rovers boss has also sensationally questioned the club’s decision to captain Max Ehmer in the build up to their big game against Swindon.
Speaking ahead of the game to the Bristol Post, Barton stated the following about the former Gillingham man:
“Captain when we came in, and I just don’t understand that..
“How can that be the leader, the person you set out as the head of your organisation, as the head of your troops?
“He’s got a lot of work to do, the boy. We’ve got to build him back up and it’s not straightforward, and, as I say, I can only help people who want to help themselves.”
A former teammate of his manager during his younger years at QPR, Ehmer has struggled to live up to expectations since arriving at the club last summer and at present finds himself in the firing line after a string of poor performances since Barton’s arrival.
Sam Nicholson update
Barton could not confirm how long Nicholson would be out injured for however he did state the following to the Bristol Post about the timescale on the winger’s setback:
“I’m not fully in the picture on that, in terms of we’re waiting on scans and specialists opinions to come back, but I would have to prepare for the worst.
“I’m prepared for him not being available for the rest of the campaign. If that turns out not to be true, that will be a bonus, but at this moment in time you’ve got to focus on the guys that are available and are fit and ready to come in to try to get the best out of them.”
The former Colorado Rapids man had been in fine form for the club up until recently, notching eight goals across all competitions for the relegation threatened side and will be sorely missed in the run in if he is indeed sidelined for the rest of the campaign.
Passengers jibe made
Barton was also quick to state to the Bristol Post that his side cannot afford to have ‘passengers’ as they begin their run in towards the end of the campaign.
The Gas, as mentioned previously, sit perilously close to the relegation places and as a result have been left fearing for their League One status for quite a while now.
Speaking after the defeat at the weekend, the manager quickly laid down the gauntlet to his squad:
“We can’t have any passengers for these next 10 games, because if we have passengers, we’ll all die, we’ll all be killed.
“You can’t, with the challenge we’re trying to do, carry people.
“I’ve asked them to go away and have a long, hard look at themselves, and decide on Monday whether they’re all-in or not.
“If they’re all-in, great, we’ll get on with the job of summiting the mountain.
“If they’re not, they won’t be coming on the journey with us.”
With games to come against the likes of Swindon and Northampton Town, there are still plenty of opportunities for Rovers to improve upon their current points total, however time is now of the essence as the matches tick down.