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Rochdale 1 v 2 Bristol Rovers
SkyBet League One
Saturday, 2nd November 2019 Kick-off 15:00
Opposition View: Dale vs Bristol Rovers
Thursday, 31st Oct 2019 14:20 by AtThePeake

We had a chat with Bristol Rovers fan Tom Metcalfe ahead of this weekend's home clash with the Gas.

Who are you and how long have you been supporting Bristol Rovers?
I'm Tom Metcalfe. I'm one quarter of the Rovers fans podcast GasCast. I've been Gas all my life but only been a season ticket holder for 4 seasons.

What are your memories of previous meetings between Dale and the Gas?
Joe Partington popping up with a late scuffed winner under the lights at the Mem a couple of seasons back is my main one.

What have you made to your team's start to the season?
Bit up and down. We started awfully then switched to a 3-5-2 which got us up as high as 4th, but since Johnson Clark-Harris got injured the goals have dried up and we've plummeted a bit. He's due back in November so if he can hit the ground running again we might be able to start climbing the table again.

Results have tailed off in recent weeks - why do you think that is?
The injury to JCH has really hit the team hard. It doesn't help that Graham has stuck to 3-5-2 when we don't really have the presence up front to make it work. He did switch to a 4-4-2 at the end against Pompey and we got back to 2-2 so maybe we have found a way to play without JCH?

What have you made of Graham Coughlan's time in charge so far?
The jury is still out for me. The football on offer isn't great on the eye, but you can't really complain when its getting results. The problem comes when it doesn't get results (Bolton at home springs to mind) as he hasn't got a lot of goodwill in the bank with the fans. It doesn't help that he followed on from Darrell Clarke who is a club legend and a very charismatic character that likes to play more attacking entertaining football.

Where do you think you'll finish come the end of the season?
This is a really hard one to say. At the start of the season I had us anywhere from 16th to 20th. However getting up to 4th a few weeks ago with JCH fit has got me dreaming of a playoff push. A lot depends on JCHs return and if he stays in January. We're basically Johnson Clark-Harris FC so our hopes rest on his shoulders.

Have their been any developments on the new stadium plans recently? Things seem to have gone a little quiet on that front.
Concrete developments no, whispers plenty. Our owner Wael Al-Qadi announced on the radio before the first game of the season that there was a city centre site that was the preferred site for a new stadium. Speculation followed about a consortium to take over, then another consortium with David Platt wanted to take over. Its all died down a bit the past few weeks.

Basically I'll believe it when I'm sat in it!

Finally, what's your prediction for the game?
I'm going for 0-0. Our defence has been a bit shaky the past few weeks, but I'm backing them to shut Dale out this week. Our striking options are not great so I can't see us scoring. I have a feeling if there is a goal in this game it will be the winner.

You can listen to Tom's Scout Report on the Dale for the GasCast, with AtThePeake here:

Photo: Action Images

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