John Ryan: We can prove the bookies wrong

Rovers' James Coppinger has an effort on goal against Cardiff. Picture: Andrew Roe

Rovers' James Coppinger has an effort on goal against Cardiff. Picture: Andrew Roe

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HAVING missed Saturday’s game owing to my short trip to Barbados, it was very reassuring to read all the positive comments about how well we played.

We not only contained a club currently in third place in the Championship but we deserved all three points.

The boys worked their socks off and it is just a pity that we could not convert some of our chances.

But I am told the Cardiff goal, particularly in the second half, led a charmed life.

Victory would have given us our fourth consecutive home win in the Championship and that is something that we have not achieved in a long time.

Cardiff’s manager Malky Mackay will certainly have alerted the ten clubs still to visit us when he said “this is a difficult place to come and play and we knew that on the way up.”

Our fans present on Saturday will have seen the commitment and enthusiasm shown by the players to get out of this current relegation battle.

The good news from the weekend was that several teams around us lost and Ipswich drew at home.

Millwall appear to be in freefall, Nottingham Forest are struggling despite a new manager, and Ipswich after a good start to the season have been dropping ever since November.

Saturday’s game at Bristol City is a real six-pointer as they are right down there with us.

We are due a win away from home after the bad luck of late at Birmingham City, Burnley and Watford.

At Watford, for instance, we were level at 1-1 and in control of the game when we had a man sent off and it changed the whole complexion of the game.

No doubt Billy Sharp is looking forward to returning to Ashton Gate as he twice found the back of the net on his last visit.

Speaking of Billy, I am ever hopeful of him staying with us at least until the end of the season and working flat out to get us out of the relegation mire we find ourselves in.

I am confident with this management team and squad that we will be out of the bottom three come the end of the season - to compound the bookies who have made us red hot favourites to go down.

Dean Saunders has now managed 22 points in 19 games.

If we had that statistic from the start of the season then we would now be in a mid-table position.

We just need to transfer the home form to away matches.

If we can also get a bit more rub of the green I am convinced we can look forward to our fifth consecutive season in the Championship.

We know from James Coppinger banging the media drum after the Cardiff game that the whole squad is up for the fight.

The team spirit could not be better.

Now we want all you supporters to be up for it and get right behind us over this difficult second half of the season.