Ten Games To Go: Bristol Rovers face fight to stay in League OnePosted on: 13 Mar 2019
Bristol Rovers' League One status is under serious threat as we approach the final ten games of the 2018/19 season, and they'll be facing a real relegation dogfight unless they can find some form in their final ten games of the season. Currently 16th in the table with four of the league's promotion chasers still to play, The Gas know they need to get into gear if they're going to have any chance of staying up.
If Rovers' recent form is anything to go by then you'd think they were in with a decent shout of safety - three wins and three clean sheets on the bounce is one of their best runs so far this campaign. It says a lot about their season so far that January signing Jonson Clarke-Harris is already their leading scorer in 2018/19 with six goals since his arrival from Coventry, with a natural goalscorer the single most notable absence from a side who have been pretty watertight at the back throughout the campaign.
Their defensive strength has been a heavily-discussed point all season - only three teams can better Rovers' tally of 37 goals conceded (coincidentally the three sides that occupy the top three league places) - but their struggle finding the net has been well documented as well. Only five players had managed more than three goals by January, with midfielder Ollie Clarke topping the goalscoring charts with just five goals in 31 appearances.
Manager Graham Coughlan, appointed in early January following the dismissal of Darrell Clarke, seems to have turned things around though, and The Gas are a different prospect with Clarke-Harris in the side with the 24-year-old netting five goals in March already.
The rest of the month presents some tricky fixtures, with matches scheduled against promotion chasers Charlton Athletic and Doncaster Rovers, fellow in-form bottom half side Plymouth Argyle and league leaders Luton Town. With three wins from their last three games Rovers are certainly the bottom half's in-form side, but this next run of fixtures will be one of the toughest of their campaign so far and may well decide their fate.
A forgiving schedule in April should be a good chance to grab some points, with matches against each of the current bottom three sides (Bradford, Wimbledon and Rochdale), but League One is notoriously competitive and we know how much can change in a month. 50 points has been enough to secure survival in each of the last three League One seasons so that's the magic number Coughlan will be looking to reach, although there's no reason they can't aim higher after a recent run of strong performances.
Bristol Rovers' last fixture of the season is at home against promotion-chasing Barnsley at 5.30pm on Saturday 4th May. Rovers may well be safe by then, or they could be left needing to win to stay up. Make sure you get yourself over to the Memorial Stadium for as many home fixtures as you can during the rest of the season and get behind the team in their fight for survival - check out the full list of remaining fixtures and get your tickets now via the link below.
Charlton Athletic (H) - 3pm, Sat 16th March
Plymouth Argyle (A) - 3pm, Sat 23rd March
Doncaster Rovers (A) - 7.45pm, Tue 26th March
Luton Town (H) - 3pm, Sat 30th March
Coventry City (A) - 3pm, Sun 7th
Bradford City (H) - 3pm, Sat 13th April
AFC Wimbledon (A) - 3pm, Fri 19th April
Rochdale (H) - 3pm, Mon 22nd April
Fleetwood Town (A) - 3pm, Sat 27th April
Bansley (H) - 5.30pm, Sat 4th May
For more information on Bristol Rovers' season so far, their upcoming fixtures, or to get tickets for their remaining 2018/19 League One fixtures, visit their website or go direct to their official box office.
Our official 365Bristol Premier League Fantasy Football league will be running again in the 2019/20 season with a prize of £200 for the winners - contact us with your email address and 'Fantasy Football' in the subject line to be added to our reminders list ahead of the start of the season!
Having moved to Bristol from Cornwall in 2015, Matt recently completed a degree in Journalism at UWE. He is keen on a wide variety of musical genres, as well as taking an interest in art and illustration, producing his own work in his spare time. Matt makes the most of Bristol's diverse nightlife and attends live music and club nights regularly. Get in touch via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.