Match Preview | Wanderers v Bristol Rovers


Wanderers return to the Toughsheet Community Stadium this weekend looking to get back to winning ways as Bristol Rovers are the visitors in town.

Despite defeat last time out, Ian Evatt’s men sit in a healthy second position in the league table with plenty of reason for optimism.

Manager quotes

Ian Evatt:

"The game on Monday, and the manner of the defeat - second half in particular - hurt us. We were disappointed with the way we played and disappointed to lose the game.

"But credit to Pompey, they stopped us on the night but it's only three points. There are no prizes given out in December and there is lots of football to be played. 

"We have to make sure that when we play Saturday, and face Portsmouth again, we perform better than we did.

"It's important that we speak about it (loss at Portsmouth), as we want to try and improve. From what I've seen, the players have reacted in the right way.

"Sometimes losing can be a positive thing as you really learn the value of winning because the feeling you get is awful, and you don't want to have that feeling too many times.

"This team, when asked questions, have always found the answer and response. We want to respond to what we saw on Monday night. We'll be ready for Saturday and we're looking to get back to winning ways."

Bristol Rovers Manager Matt Taylor told Bristol Live:  

“These are the games you want to play. Three of the best teams in the league, with a history of higher levels or have been there recently and are challenging at the right end of the table in this current climate.

"They are fantastic games of football and all good places to play - whether that's Bolton this weekend, Blackpool next week or even the home game on Boxing Day against some of the best players this league has got to offer.

“We need to be at our best if we're going to get anything from any of these games over this Christmas period and if we want to be serious about challenging towards the top half of the table.

“It is a bit of a test and this will be where we find out a little bit more in terms of where we can pick up points against some of the best teams in the league.”

Team News

Ian Evatt confirmed in his pre-match press that Dan Nlundulu had successful surgery on Tuesday on the hamstring injury suffered in the victory over Port Vale in the Bristol Street Motors Trophy. 

The forward will start his rehabilitation and recovery from the injury, with a period of months on the sideline.

The Whites boss reported no further injuries as the squad looks to bounce back immediately from defeat at Portsmouth. 

Form guide

Today’s opponents find themselves in 14th position in the division, almost exactly halfway between the play-offs and the relegation zone.

Under the guidance of newly recruited manager, Matt Taylor, the Gas have won one, lost one and drawn one in three separate competitions in the previous couple of weeks so the new boss will be familiar with his new squad already.

A 4-2 away win at Crewe in midweek will have boosted the confidence in the Rovers camp coming into this weekend and Taylor will be hoping that that cutting edge in front of goal will rear its head on Saturday.

As for Wanderers, defeat on Monday night against a strong Portsmouth side was the first loss in 11 games for the Whites who will be hoping to put in a strong performance and erase the taste of Monday night as quickly as possible.

Ian Evatt’s men are still in a strong second position on 39 points having played less games than the teams around them.


Referee: Carl Brook

Assistant Referees: Wayne Grunnill and Alan Clayton

Fourth Official: Karl Buckley


Saturday, 3pm.


Tickets for the fixture remain on sale and can be purchased online up until kick-off. We do urge supporters to purchase in advance to avoid the matchday queues. 

Click here to buy your tickets.


As this is a Saturday 3pm game, Wanderers fans based in the UK can purchase an audio pass only for this fixture - with supporters based internationally able to watch the game live through a match pass for just £10...


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