Bristol news Finley cuts through the clichés as he leads with his words and deeds PremierLeague-News.Com
PremierLeague-News.Com - Bristol Rovers stand-in captain Sam Finley has been central to their positive performances throughout October and November
PremierLeague-News.Com - Breaking Sport Transfer News ! For Sam Finley, and the vast majority of those of a Bristol Rovers persuasion, the fact that Saturday’s win over Peterborough United wasn’t a surprise for them is as sure a sign of not just the Gas’ rapid progress in League One but where they think they should be and, crucially, can get to in this division. Rovers were very clearly the better team against a Posh side relegated from the Championship last season and expected to be part of the promotion mix this term. Yet they struggled to lay a glove on the Gas who certainly didn’t play like an outfit who had been winless in their four previous league games. But that’s the strange position Rovers are in at the moment, the three points over Peterborough lifted them into 15th in the table and six points off the top six but since the start of October, Derby County first-half onslaught and individual mistakes aside, they’ve been the equal of, if not better, than each of their opponents but the points accrued haven’t represented that. Naïve defending at times, perhaps, unforced errors, and in the case of Fleetwood Town an inability to properly put a game to bed but whereas matches at the start of the campaign against Portsmouth and Ipswich Town very much appeared League One heavyweight vs newly-promoted side, the chasm has been closed to the extent where you're wondering, with reason, if it's even now a gap. Read More Related Articles 'Get the badge in' - Bristol Rovers have a familiar ambassador at the 2022 World Cup in Qatar Read More Related Articles Former Bristol Rovers striker and cult hero named Irish Player of the Year It’s not that Rovers just don’t fear anyone, it’s that they genuinely believe they can beat anyone in this league, and by outplaying them; not a lucky break, or a set-piece goal or circumstances around injuries falling in their favour, but through playing football. Joey Barton’s boasts was front and centre, particularly after the home win against Oxford United in August - a device as much as anything to energise the fanbase - but away from those verbal fireworks, confidence has been quietly building behind the scenes and although there’s a frustration that they are only 15th and a bottom half team, Finley is also happy with that position given the element of surprise it carries. “(It’s) the old cliché, the table doesn’t lie but I think it massively does in our case because, as the fans have seen, we’re a side ready to go on,” Finley said. “The gaffer talks about it all the time, just sitting on the rails as a horse and finishing strongly; you don’t want to be at the top end of the table now and teams chasing you and looking over your shoulder. "We’re middle of the pack and hopefully we can get a strong finish like last season. January comes and maybe we can get a few more extra players in and push on and try and make a late play-off push. “The table is actually lying. People who know and are inside the club know we don’t deserve to be down there and that’s why they’re coming out to support us because it doesn’t reflect how good we’ve been.” Saturday’s win was important because it was a coherent 90-minute performance; not patches of good play interspersed with more mediocre fair, or a weak half followed by a strong reaction in the second 45, but players executing a game plan with commitment, nous and technique to overwhelm their opponent. Last weekend’s 2-2 draw against Fleetwood stung. Rovers had been the better team in the second half, fought back to take the lead but couldn’t get over the line and were made to pay. This time they initiated a sense of control over proceedings from the first whistle. Sam Finley in action against Fleetwood (Rob Noyes/JMP) “I don’t want to reveal too much about what goes on in the changing room but I was screaming and shouting after we conceded late on against Fleetwood, because we can’t just keep carrying on playing 45 minutes of football, which is what we’ve been doing for the past 3-4 weeks,” Finley added. “We need to start games off well, because that’s what we did last season; we started brilliantly and blew teams away.
News source = PremierLeague-News.Com
.” Central to that control and all the other positive attributes that were required to get the better of Posh was Finley who has grown into his role as stand-in captain, in the absence of Paul Coutts from the starting XI, but also as midfield terrier and orchestrator. When the 30-year-old signed his new contract in September, Barton remarked that when Finley plays well, so do Rovers and that equation continues to prove accurate as the Scouser is proving important on both sides of the ball. Whether it be breaking play up, acting as first receiver for James Belshaw or the defence, driving forward with the ball at his feet, breaking lines, or a creator further up the field, Finley can pretty much do it all, while remaining efficient in possession, protecting the ball and setting an example for his teammates.
Related Articles Every word Joey Barton said on Scott Sinclair, Peterborough triumph and Bristol Rovers' Gazza He plays with passion and poise and is increasingly an individual who the terraces can really get behind - a grafter with plenty of guile who is now also taking on an increasing leadership role. Coutts has been present at The Quarters and on matchdays, which helps Finley as a sounding board - much how Glenn Whelan was for the Scott last season - but, on the pitch, it’s down to him to be the one true voice of the team as Saturday also brought up his 50th appearance for the club. “I thought everyone was unbelievable, I don’t like praising myself - 50th appearance, long may it continue, I love captaining the club when Paul Coutts is out,” Finley said of his captain. “He’s massive in the changing rooms and in training. (But) It’s a hard one when you’re not involved because you can’t come in and scream and shout because it always looks easy on the sidelines. It’s a tough one, he’s not really one to be screaming and shouting at players because he knows how hard it is to be involved. “I’ve got to! I obviously do scream and shout - you’ve probably heard me - but I don’t always criticise, I wouldn’t ask players to do something if I didn’t think they could. “I was on Aaron Collins quite a lot last season when he wasn’t scoring goals. It’s management, sometimes people need a kick up the backside, sometimes they need an arm around the shoulder. I knew he could do it, I knew he was capable so I was screaming and shouting at him to do that.”
Sam Finley dribbles past Exeter's Jake Caprice during a League One encounter in October (Rob Noyes/JMP) Finley may be given a breather against Colchester United in the Papa John’s Trophy on Wednesday, although you’d imagine the prospect of another 90 minutes fills him with joy, given how he’s playing at the moment. Barton has rotated the notion of his “best XI” for the competition in the group stage but with Rovers now in the knockout stages, may look to keep as strong a side out there as is possible, especially with Sunday’s FA Cup tie against Boreham Wood presenting further opportunity to rest weary legs and/or try different players. Either way, Finley is confident that such are the levels of competitiveness in the squad, no matter what the line-up is, they’ll be more than capable of doing the business. “I’m not sure what the gaffer will do in terms of team selection but, believe me, in training when we do shape on Thursdays and Fridays and we play the starting XI against the non-starting XI, it’s as tough as it can be,” Finley added. “The non-starting XI are obviously up for it and wanting to get in the side and some of those games are harder than the games we have on the Saturday so it shows the strength we have and we can mount a challenge in both competitions." 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
Related Articles Bristol Rovers verdict: A beautiful and magical day for Scott Sinclair as Gas blunt Posh
Related Articles Joey Barton raves about 'phenomenal' Scott Sinclair and looks to exciting Bristol Rovers future
Source = PremierLeague-News.Com