Bristol news All eyes on next season as EFL's most predictable team suffers 27th loss PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Sam Frost's verdict after relegated Bristol Rovers were beaten 1-0 by Crewe at the Mem on Saturday
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Forty-five down, one to go, as Bristol Rovers' horrible heap of League One defeats grew to 27 at the hands of Crewe Alexandra on Saturday. With Rovers' relegation already confirmed a week ago, the viewing figures from home were sure to drop, but even those who did not tune in would be able to make a pretty good guess at the plot in the latest chapter of Rovers' season of woe. Owen Dale left Jack Baldwin on his backside before teeing up Callum Ainley for the game's only goal on 19 minutes, and the Gas were unable to find a way back into a contest that ought to be forgotten before Monday morning arrives. Seven days officially remain in this campaign for Joey Barton's rock-bottom Pirates, but attention has turned to next season, when supporters and, hopefully, brighter times will return to the Mem. Read More Related Articles Clint Hill discusses next season and gives transfer hint as Bristol Rovers lose to Crewe Read More Related Articles 'Torrid' - Bristol Rovers player ratings against Crewe as Baldwin and Oztumer struggle in defeat All eyes on next season Do we need to discuss the game? Because it played out in the most predictable fashion for perhaps the EFL's most predictable side. A makeshift Rovers side huffed and puffed, but were beaten by their fatal deficiency of cutting edge coupled with the remarkable ability to make defensive mistakes. Sound familiar? That draws a line under a forgettable dead rubber, and soon the line will be drawn under a disastrous season. Clint Hill – on press duty instead of Barton – made no secret of the fact that the immediate focus has shifted from this season to the next, revealing hopes that some new signings can be wrapped up early in the coming days and weeks. Cam Hargreaves plays a pass forward against Crewe Given the scale of the rebuild set to take place, and the tough task of gelling a new team that awaits, getting business done as swiftly as possible is vital. Barton will want the crux of his new squad in place for the start of pre-season in late June. Hill knows from personal experience a major overhaul can deliver immediate success if done right. "I’ve been in that situation with QPR when we made 18-20 changes and then we ended up going 18 unbeaten and going on to win the league, so it can be done," he said. "We know that our processes for pre-season, in terms of fitness and getting the lads together and the camaraderie going, will get them ready for the season." One more game remains at Blackpool next Sunday, but all eyes are now on next season.
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. With coronavirus restrictions due to be lifted in the coming weeks and months, a full crowd awaits the Gas in August. This has been a lost season in many ways, but none more so than for the people who were unable to make one more trip to see their team play and lost their lives to a devastating pandemic. Regardless of Rovers' relegation to League Two, the return to BS7 promises to be an emotional occasion that will bring a miserable chapter in the club's history to an end.
Brandon Hanlan has a shot on goal against Crewe (Ryan Hiscott/JMP)
Jaakkola being saved With nothing on the line in the final two games, Rovers were wise to rest Anssi Jaakkola on Saturday after a season marred by injury that has proved costly to the Gas. His three-month absence with an Achilles problem proved only to show how valuable an asset he is to Rovers, and Barton knows the Finland international is an essential pillar in the spine of his team for next season. Even if his niggles ease over the coming days, Jaakkola should not make the trip to Bloomfield Road in seven days' time. It's just not worth the risk; Rovers need him 100 per cent fit for the opening day.
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Players need to front up It is understandable players have been protected from facing questions since Rovers' relegation was essentially confirmed against MK Dons 12 days ago, but now the dust has settled it is important a spokesman for the squad faces the cameras and dictaphones. In a season where the connection between players and fans has been non-existent, Gasheads have admirably persevered with iFollow despite their team repeatedly letting them down. They deserve to hear from the players who have taken their club into League Two. It is a box that should be ticked and saying nothing after a season of deafening silence in stadiums would be a poor way to finish a really poor season.
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com