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Dan Clough column: Rovers must respond to Bolton shock in derby
JUST when I started to think positively again, I was brought crashing back to earth with a 4-0 thump.
Defeat at the Reebok Stadium was not only embarassing, but disastrous for our hopes of breaking into the play-offs.
I said last week it had been a season of twists and turns, and after victory at Reading put us four points behind the top six with a game in hand, here was a real chance to get within touching distance and start building some momentum.
But no, Bolton, with one win in 10, hadn’t read that script and they completely annihilated us.
The theme behind this season for Rovers has been consistency, or a lack thereof, and that will ultimately be our downfall come the end of the season when we will probably find ourselves languishing in ninth or 10th place.
Perhaps it can be put down to a young squad that lacks the composure to see out a win. Hopefully that will come with time (but how much time do we have?) The theme behind the season of our bitter rivals Burnley has also been consistency, but for different reasons.
Bizarrely for a side with a threadbare squad, the Clarets have blown away every opposition they have faced.
It just goes to show the impact belief and team spirit can have on a team.
So Rovers fans can be forgiven for walking down Bolton Road with a sense of great apprehension on Sunday.
For the first time in my life, we are the clear underdogs, and Burnley’s fans and team will smell blood.
The one major thing working against them is psychology.
The pressure for them to win is greater now than it has been in years, and that might affect them.
And hopefully the shock at Bolton will shock the Rovers players into action.
Defeat against Burnley is not an option for Rovers.
As well as local pride being at stake, anything short of three points will pretty much rule out any hopes of a promotion surge that may still be lingering.
Meanwhile, Gary Bowyer says he wants to get a defender in before Sunday’s game.
Surely that should have been sorted before we sold our main centre half at the end of the transfer window?
The sale was completed with most under the assumption a replacement would be brought in almost immediately after the loan window reopened.
Sadly that has not been forthcoming which left us very short on numbers at the weekend and suddenly it’s a full-blown injury crisis. Thankfully it looks as though Grant Hanley will return, but we really could do with some extra cover.