The Verdict: Gung-ho ain't the way to go

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INCIDENTS at Ashton Gate were the subject of an intense inquest but now it is time to look forward, forgive and forget.

A great deal of finger-pointing has gone on since the Bristol City defeat.

Many choose to blame referee Fred Graham while others – like myself – believe Habib Beye should take some responsibility for his side’s downfall.

But letting issues like these dwell for too long will not do Rovers any good as they continue their battle against the drop.

Saturday’s defeat and results elsewhere undoubtedly delivered major blows to the hopes of winning that battle as the chance to claw back ground went begging.

But the only mistakes that need to be concentrated on now are the defensive ones which allowed City to score two headers and threaten with several others.

Rovers will need to be at their defensive best when they visit the KC Stadium on Tuesday night as they come up against an attacking force not unlike the Robins’.

Manchester United products Robbie Brady and Cameron Stewart will provide the wing threat Albert Adomah and Yannick Bolasie did at Ashton Gate.

Rovers struggled to cope in the first half an hour when City surged forward.

But after the break they defended with great composure and the mistakes in positioning and judgement disappeared.

Dean Saunders must ensure the attributes of that second half performance are packed onto the coach on Tuesday.

We know that Rovers have nothing to fear against the sides sitting towards the top end of the Championship table.

And we know Saunders has a definite no-fear attitude when he sets his side up.

The attacking 4-3-3 formation was deployed again on Saturday and you would not bet against another appearance in Hull.

But perhaps it is time to err on the side of caution when it comes to road trips.

Saunders has his target of nine more wins for Championship survival.

But having to settle for a few draws along the way might not do any harm.

Being defensively sound – as Rovers proved they could be in Saturday’s second half – is not such a bad thing, particularly when you have got such an intelligent player leading the attack.

Billy Sharp bamboozled the Bristol City defence on several occasions by suddenly disappearing into space while his unexpected strength is among his best assetts.

Couple Sharp with El Hadji Diouf’s trickery on one flank plus the pace of a Kyle Bennett on the other, and Rovers could prove an effective counter attacking force.

Thinking about not conceding ahead of planning how to grab goals for yourself sounds like a defeatist attitude and not in Saunders’ nature.

But it could prevent more hammerblow-dealing defeats between now and the end of April.

HODEN'S VERDICT: Going all out attack seems foolhardy – it’s time to err on the side of caution.