Glenn Roeder: Stevenage will look to exploit ‘weaknesses’ in Bristol Rovers’ defending

Glenn Roeder

Glenn Roeder - Credit: Archant

Glenn Roeder hopes Stevenage can exploit weaknesses he believes he and Boro’s coaching staff have spotted in the Bristol Rovers defence when they two teams meet this evening (Tuesday).

Boro go into the match on the back of a 2-1 win at home to Newport County on Saturday, a result that moved them up to 21st in the League Two table and also made all but certain that they will remain in the division for next season.

Stevenage have only beaten one side home and away this campaign – Hartlepool United – but have the opportunity to make that two tonight following November’s 2-1 win at the Memorial Stadium.

Rovers like to attack on their travels as well as on home soil, and although Roeder says he can see that tonight’s visitors have an abundance of attacking talent at their disposal, including the prolific Matt Taylor, he believes Boro’s coaching staff have seen areas in Darrell Clarke’s side that they can look to exploit.

“Most teams set up to play a certain way home and away, and why shouldn’t it be like that?” asked Roeder, the club’s managerial advisor to caretaker boss Darren Sarll.

“I’ve always been amazed when teams come away from home when they are a good attacking team at home and suddenly try to be a good defending team and it often backfires.

“The best way to defend is to attack I’ve always been told. It’s probably true. If you have the ball in the opposing half it’s a long way back up to the other end to score a goal.

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“We’re aware their full-backs like to bomb on and get forward with their wide midfield players tucking in off the lines.

“Our two centre backs will have to deal with their two strikers and we hope that when we win the ball off them we can take advantage of one or two weaknesses we think we’ve found in their defending. That’s not just their defenders but also defensively as a team.”

Roeder added: “I think that the boys who played in [the reverse fixture] will take the view that it was a positive performance and result. It would be nice to replicate the same result.

“Having looked at Bristol Rovers a number of times over the weekend on our scouting system, I can see why they’ve scored so many goals themselves.

“They don’t waste any time getting the ball forward. We have to be at our very best defending again as we have the last month.

“Some of the goals they’ve conceded I would have thought their players and staff would have been disappointed with how they’ve conceded them.

“Hopefully we can exploit the way that they have conceded goals in the past by doing that ourselves to them.”