ECHOSPORT talks to Bristol Rovers fan James Sanderson ahead of tomorrow’s game with Blues.

What have you made of the season so far?

“The season has been a weird yet wonderful one. To be where we are in the table having been promoted is fantastic.

“However, the inconsistency in performances, especially away from home, has led to a lot of frustration from fans.

“Before the season started, I would have settled for anything above the bottom four and my expectations were to finish in and around lower mid table.

“To be seven points off the play offs with 10 games to go is a remarkable achievement from the players and coaching staff, especially considering that more than 50 per cent of our squad was playing non league football two season ago.”

What are the hopes for the rest of the season now?

“To carry on playing the way we are and keep improving like we have done all season. Obviously, it would be great if we could reach the play offs, but realistically, I don’t think we’d be able to compete in the Championship, and to be honest, with teams like Millwall who are on a good run at the moment, and Oxford, who have three games in hand on us, it’s going to be tough.”


Bristol Rovers fan - James Sanderson

Who do Blues need to keep an eye on this weekend?

“Billy Bodin. The guy is phenomenal on his day. I was very surprised that no-one came in for him during the January transfer window as, in my opinion, he would walk into any Championship team currently in the bottom half.

“Stuart Sinclair is also a machine!

“He never stops running, he’s always in the face of the opposition giving them no time on the ball.

“He’s not a traditional ‘one to watch’ as he’s more defensive minded, but he snuffs out attacks and is a constant thorn in the side of attacking players.”

What’s the team news this weekend?

“As far as I know, the one player unavailable for the fixture is Ollie Clarke, as he is due to serve a two game suspension after accumulating his tenth booking of the season against Oxford. With regards to injuries, who knows? Darrell Clarke has a policy where he doesn’t disclose information on injuries to the public. But I would expect a very similar line up to the one that featured against Oxford, with Lee Mansell stepping in to replace Clarke, or even Joe Partington, predominantly a right back, who played in the middle of midfield in a recent reserve game.”