AFTER all the talk of rewarding the travelling contingent with a performance on Saturday there were 1,500 very disappointed Rovers supporters in the capital by 5pm.

It must have been bad to evoke such an angry reaction from Gary Bowyer, who has pledged to ring the changes in response to yet another drab performance and some disastrous defending.


Shane Duffy showed some balls in taking to Twitter to personally apologise to the fans for his below-par performance, and some of his colleagues should take note as such a loyal following deserves better.

What is particularly disappointing is that we know for a fact this group of players is better than their recent displays suggest.

Individually, we have a group of talented (at least at this level) players who can, as we have seen fleetingly this season and last, produce the magic that is needed to win games.

But when they get into the matchday environment on a Saturday afternoon, something happens and they just seem to deflate.

Brentford have started this season very well but, individually, without taking form into account, man for man, surely we have a better side than them on paper. So why is it they were able to stroll to victory with such apparent comfort?

We have seen evidence of this side having great character. They must have, considering they have conceded first in almost every match this season and still managed to record wins a decent number.

Last week I said we needed to see that character shining through to bounce back from defeat and, sadly, it was completely absent.

With a home game against another side performing better than expected in Charlton on Saturday, now really is the time for Rovers – and Bowyer who needs to address the defensive frailties and motivate the team to avoid a third successive defeat – to prove that character has not been lost.

As sensible as going five across midfield might have seemed at Brentford, it is those defensive frailties that have cost us, so surely it would make more sense going forward not to remove a striker from the line-up as it clearly doesn’t work.

Speaking of strikers, there were some strange goings-on in the national press this week saying Rudy Gestede is a target for Burnley, of all teams, who are lining up a £3million bid. I’d be very surprised if this was the case as my understanding is that despite the impending transfer embargo, Rovers are under no pressure to sell their star players.

And even though Gestede was only signed on the cheap, surely he would now command a fee of more than £3million.

Plus, surely the board wouldn’t be foolish enough to accept a bid from the Clarets unless they want to incur the wrath of the fans.

Mind you, the national newspaper I saw this in was leading with an ‘exclusive’ on Danny Ings being a target for Dutch giants Ajax.

So maybe we shouldn’t get too carried away with such needless and senseless speculation.