Bristol Rovers have had a difficult last few months on the pitch, but their win against Sunderland in midweek may be the spark fans have been looking for.
The Gas earned just their second win under Ben Garner at the Memorial Stadium on Tuesday night with a 2-0 victory over the promotion-chasing Black Cats, which went a long way to relieving the pressure on the manager.
Bristol Rovers’ league position has faltered significantly since the back end of last year, as the side has dropped from the edge of the automatic promotion places down to 14th.
Results under Garner have been far from good enough, with his first win in charge coming almost two months after his appointment as manager, against Blackpool in mid-February.
The low-point was the recent 3-1 defeat to second-bottom side Southend United last weekend, which saw repeated individual errors that led to goals for the opposition. It suggested that the players simply weren’t playing for the manager.
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However, Garner and his players stepped up against Sunderland, putting in an assured performance, and Bristol Rovers fans will surely be hoping that the side can take the positives from it and maintain that consistency between now and the end of the season.
Despite the nature of results, the style of play under Garner so far has been pleasing to the eye, but the team needs to be showing their true potential regularly.
Although recent events have meant that every EFL game has been postponed until the start of April, when Bristol Rovers resume their league schedule, they have a tough run-in.
The Gas come up against three sides chasing automatic promotion – Oxford, Peterborough and Portsmouth.
However, with relegation and a late chase for the play-offs both looking unlikely, the aim for the Gas will be to finish as high as possible in the league.
A good run of results will set a good platform going into next season, which will get fans thinking a corner has been turned.
Another poor sequence, however, and Garner’s job will surely be on the line.