Bristol news Bobby Thomas enjoying his Gas education with Wembley dream still alive PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Burnley's Bobby Thomas has proved to be an excellent loan signing for Bristol Rovers and he is dreaming of Wembley after Wednesday's EFL Trophy win at Colchester United
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! Bristol Rovers’ defence many be young, but Bobby Thomas says they are always up for the fight and the fruits of their hard work are starting to show. The Gas have conceded too many goals for their liking this season, shipping 33 in 19 League One games, but there have been signs of improvement of late. Colchester United managed to score with their one and only shot on target in Wednesday’s 2-1 EFL Trophy win for the Gas, and Joey Barton’s side were able to keep the free-scoring attack of Peterborough United quiet with a clean sheet at the weekend. Barton has previously discussed his preference for having young defenders because of their athleticism and malleability, and it shows in the makeup of his squad. Alfie Kilgour, aged 24, is the oldest centre-back, with Thomas, James Connolly – both aged 21 – and 22-year-old Lewis Gibson emerging as the first-choice back three. Read More Related Articles Belshaw's hidden talent, Maher's reunion and Colchester whinge – Bristol Rovers moments missed When signing on loan from Burnley on deadline day, Thomas may have expected to be playing alongside more seasoned defenders, but he believes Rovers’ youthful defence brings benefits when coupled with experienced and proven performances in front and behind in the shape of Sam Finley, Paul Coutts, James Belshaw et al. “It’s good us all being young because we can all move and we’re all learning together,” he said. “To go on the journey together is good to develop together. “With us being such a young backline, teams look at us and try to target us. They’ll say ‘Stick it on them, they’re only young’, but we’re up for the fight and it’s showing. “It’s a good mix in the squad and it’s about getting used to playing with different players, like Jordan (Rossiter) who is always winning the ball back, or Belly (James Belshaw) sweeping up everything that goes over your head, and Sam (Finley) gets the ball down and gets us rolling. “When Couttsy comes back, he’s similar to Sam in that he can do the dirty work and get on the ball as well. When everyone’s fit and we’re all playing, it’s a nice setup we’ve got going. "Confidence comes from how we approach the training week and how we apply ourselves to games like this (Colchester). It’s easy for lads to come and not give it the same application as a league game, but the team is really professional in everything we do and our form is really good. Read More Related Articles Papa John's Trophy draw live: Ball numbers, start time as Bristol Rovers learn last-16 opponents Read More Related Articles Every word Joey Barton said on Loft's fitness, 'superb' Bristol Rovers fans, Saunders' quality "We’ve lost something like one in 10, and that comes with dedication and the application we have in training and on nights like Wednesday." Thomas has been a near ever-present in Barton’s team since moving south from Turf Moor, making 16 appearances in all competitions, including 12 starts in League One – missing just one game due to suspension. His defensive instincts are obvious, showing command for the penalty area and putting his head on everything that comes his way.
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. At Colchester on Wednesday, he thought he had netted his fourth goal of an impressive scoring season – having netted from set pieces against Morecambe, Cheltenham Town and Derby County, but centre-back Connolly made sure Thomas' goal-bound header found the back of the net with an opportunistic finish beneath the crossbar. "I kind of knew it wasn’t mine, I ran off seeing if I could claim it, but Beefy robbed it," Thomas joked. "I probably would have done the same thing if I was in his position. A goal is a goal and I’m glad to have helped towards the win.
Bobby Thomas of Bristol Rovers heads the ball towards goal before it is converted by James Connolly for the opener at Colchester. (Image: Robbie Stephenson/JMP) "I’ve always thought I was quite dominant in the air. It should be four goals, not three, but I do try to nick as many goals and assists as I can to help the team." Wednesday's win puts the Gas within three rounds of a Wembley final in the EFL Trophy, with the Gas to face MK Dons in the third round in the week commencing December 12. "It’s really exciting," Thomas said. "Not a lot of us will get the chance to play at Wembley in our careers. You never know, but to be only three games away is a nice inkling to have to go and kick on in the next three games." Rovers are in cup action again on Sunday, hosting National League side Boreham Wood at the Mem, and Thomas made clear the Gas will not be underestimating Luke Garrard's team. "We’re looking forward to the FA Cup" he concluded. "It’s the magic of the cup and anything can happen, so we’re looking forward to hopefully getting a good draw in the next round, but we’ve got to take it game by game and we’ve got to get through the Boreham Wood game. They’re no mugs. "It could be similar to Wednesday night (referring to Colchester's deep defence), so we’ve got to see what challenges come our way and we’ll get on with it." SIGN UP: To receive our free Rovers newsletter, bringing you the latest from the Mem READ NEXT: Spanish team twinned with Rovers set for takeover by owner of Championship club Rovers continue process to redesign club badge despite fan fury over latest developments Joey Barton reveals why Rovers have sent Sylvester Jasper back to Fulham
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