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The factfile: Bristol Rovers

21 February 2014

A look ahead to tonight's opponents

: Bristol Rovers 1-0 Cheltenham Town, Sky Bet League 2, Tuesday 11th FebruaryLAST RESULT

FORM (LAST TEN GAMES): Won: 4, Drawn: 3, Lost: 3

Bristol Rovers will be looking to make it three unbeaten when the Brewers visit on Friday night. A 1-0 win at home to Cheltenham ten days ago provided a welcome boost in their fight to avoid relegation.

The Brewers will travel to the West Country full of confidence, having extended their unbeaten run away from home in the 1-1 draw at Rochdale on Tuesday night.

THE GAFFER – JOHN WARD

An experienced lower league manager, John Ward returned to the Memorial Ground for his second managerial stint in December 2012, replacing Mark McGhee.

A long serving Lincoln City forward in his playing days, Ward was initially assistant to Graham Taylor at Watford and Aston Villa in the 1980s, before Taylor left in 1990 to join England.

Starting his first number one role at York City in 1991, saving them from relegation and turning them into a promotion winning outfit by the time he left to join Bristol Rovers in 1993.

A three year spell at Rovers was followed by a spell at local rivals Bristol City before becoming assistant manager at Wolves.

In 2003, he joined Cheltenham Town and guided them to League One in 2006 before leaving to join Carlisle United in October 2007, although he was sacked just over a year later.
Ward spent around a year out of the game before returning to coaching, as assistant to Aidy Boothroyd at Colchester United – but Ward replaced Boothroyd in 2010 when he left to join Coventry City.

Leaving Colchester United in September 2012, Ward returned to Bristol Rovers three months later.

HEAD TO HEAD:

Bristol Rovers wins: 2
Draws: 1
Burton Albion wins: 2

LAST TIME WE MET:

Saturday 23rd November 2013, Sky Bet League 2, Pirelli Stadium
Burton Albion 1-0 Bristol Rovers

Robbie Weir’s second half goal was enough to get the Brewers back to winning ways following defeat at Dagenham & Redbridge.

Weir struck just before the hour mark to win the game, but the game will be remembered for the three red cards issued by referee Paul Tierney.

Chris Beardsley was sent off after 37 minutes for a reckless challenge, whilst Jimmy Phillips and John-Joe O’Toole both saw red in second half injury time.

ONE TO WATCH – JOHN-JOE O’TOOLE

John-Joe O’Toole is by far Bristol Rovers’ leading goalscorer this season – notching 13 times in 33 appearances.

Starting his career at Watford, he played 66 times between 2007 and 2010, with loan spells at Sheffield United and Colchester United in between.

He joined Colchester on a permanent basis in 2010, scoring only once in 55 games. Following his spell in Essex, O’Toole joined Bristol Rovers on loan for the end of last season, before signing permanently in the summer.

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