Bristol Rovers will be looking to pick up much-needed points in the battle to survive in League One at the earliest of opportunities.
It’s been a season to forget for the Pirates so far, with the club now sat 21st in the third-tier standings, and two points adrift of safety after a dismal run of results.
Bristol Rovers are now managed by former Fleetwood Town boss Joey Barton, and the former QPR midfielder will be eager to turn around their poor run of form in the near future.
He took charge after Bristol Rovers earlier this year, as he was appointed as the club’s permanent manager, after they parted company with Paul Tisdale in February.
Tisdale had only been with the club since November 2020, after the Pirates relieved Ben Garner of his duties in charge after a poor start to the 2020/21 season.
Speaking in a recent interview (quotes sourced via Bristol Live), Barton made the eye-opening claim that both Tisdale and Garner were sacked for being negligent during their stints at the Memorial Ground.
“Both have been sacked for a reason, same as me at Fleetwood. You get sacked for a reason in our job. Ultimately the buck stops with you as the manager and if something’s not right, you’re responsible to fix it, that’s your job.
“You have a duty of care to your employees and the people that work for you to get everything at a level that they can do their job to the best of their ability to perform, so you do get sacked for being negligent I believe.”
Barton went on to label their previous training sessions as ‘a farce’, and likened the club’s current situation to that of a racehorse trainer.
“You can’t escape the facts. You’ve seen the managers that have gone before here and you would presume that they do everything right, and it’s only when you get in here and you see it. I could show you the footage of the training sessions. They’re a farce.
“We’re racehorse trainers, I’ve got to train the lads for a race and they’re running out of gas and steam before they’re getting anywhere near the final furlongs.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Barton’s side this weekend though, as they prepare to take on in-form Sunderland on Saturday, in what is certain to be a tough test against Lee Johnson’s men.
Are these facts about the Memorial Stadium true or false?
He certainly doesn’t hold back!
It’s not been anywhere near of a good enough season for Bristol Rovers this term, and I really do fear for their survival chances in League One this season.
It’s vital that they pick up much-needed points at the earliest of opportunities as they bid to survive in the third-tier of English football.
Relegation this season would be disastrous for Barton and the club.