It’s been a frustrating season for Bristol Rovers, who must now be looking ahead to the 2020/21 campaign.
Towards the end of 2019, it looked as though they may be competing for a top-six finish this season but a drop in form around the turn of the year saw those aspirations evaporate.
The Gas have won just twice since Ben Garner took charge, a run that has left facing mid-table mediocrity–not likely to challenge for the play-offs but safe from relegation.
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Garner’s focus will now surely be on preparing his side for next season and on the improvements he will look to make in the next transfer window.
With that in mind, here are two things that have to be top of his summer agenda…
Some additional firepower
One thing that Garner should definitely look to add is some more firepower. Outside star striker Jonson Clarke-Harris, no other player in the Rovers squad has scored more than three goals this season–which is frankly not good enough.
The 25-year-old needs some support in the final third and Garner should look to the transfer market over the summer to bring some in.
The jury remains out on January arrival Timmy Abraham but he has shown in glimpses what he can do. His contract expires at Fulham in the summer, so adding him and at least one more forward would be a start.
More creative options.
The Gas have scored fewer goals than any side above them in League One, as well as a number of sides below them, and that issue in the final third is not just linked to a lack of goalscorers.
Creatively Garner doesn’t have a huge amount of quality options and bringing in players that can produce a moment of magic, unlock defences, and create something out of nothing would be hugely beneficial.
If Rovers want to compete near the top of the League One table next season, signing more creative options needs to be right at the top of their manager’s transfer agenda this summer.