Bucky’s Blog: Fitness of midfield duo could be key for Barnsley clash

Conor Grant
Conor Grant

Every time we knocked it up the field towards the strikers on Saturday, nothing came of it.

Sheffield United’s defence just mopped it up with ease.

Our midfield was sat too deep and there was no support.

I think Conor Grant and James Coppinger’s absences were very noticeable, as they have been whenever they haven’t played.

They are set to return this weekend and they will make a massive difference in that respect. What Grant does so well is he provides midfield support to attacks and links the side together. Nobody has done that in his absence.

He enables us to play up closer to the strikers, and I think that’s what needs to happen on Saturday at Barnsley.

The Sheffield United game didn’t feel like a derby. In a derby clash the first 15 minutes should be hell for leather, their players shouldn’t get a second to think about what to do.

I was a little disappointed that we weren’t in their faces, really forcing the issue. That’s another thing that needs to be better in this weekend’s derby.

Bad performances happen but it was the lack of spark against the Blades that really caused concern.

We’re not playing to Darren Ferguson’s standards and I believe he’ll be really getting in their ears this week. Somehow we find ourselves only six points above the relegation zone all of a sudden.

I think Barnsley will be big favourites for the game as a result of their recent form, but Rovers have to win that game now. If the teams below us start picking something up, we’d be worryingly close to the battle at the bottom.

It’s a tough next couple of games for Rovers too, so we have to be especially careful.

I thought we’d sort ourselves out for last Saturday’s game, I really did.

I keep getting called ‘too optimistic’ but I think we’re better than what we’ve seen of late, and we’ll show it sooner or later.

Bucky’s charity bet: Barnsley 1 Rovers 2