06 August 2022

Bristol Rovers’ bright start delights Joey Barton in Burton triumph

06 August 2022

Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton was delighted with his side’s start as they romped to a 4-0 victory at 10-man Burton with all four goals coming in a breath-taking first half.

Burton saw Conor Shaughnessy red-carded inside the first minute for a foul on Aaron Collins and Rovers took full advantage, with Collins scoring twice after Antony Evans and James Connolly had found the net.

“We started the game with the correct intentions and obviously there is a major moment in the opening skirmishes,” said Barton.

“The sending-off leads to Evo scoring the free-kick and from there I thought we were excellent.

“We spoke to the lads about starting well and catching them cold and I thought we did that. Don’t wait for the first five or 10 minutes to get into the game, make sure we are out of the gate and all credit to the boys, they did that, scored the first goal and once we got the second goal, Aaron with his two finishes are real quality.

“I am just a bit disappointed that we didn’t add to the score in the second half because I thought we were capable and probably a bit guilty of spurning a couple of good opportunities.”

Collins recently signed a new deal with Rovers and Barton was delighted to see his man continue on the goal trail.

“It took Aaron a while to get going last season, but this season he has come back different,” added Barton.

“The first goal is a hell of a finish. He’ll be disappointed not to take home another match ball today.”

For a shell-shocked Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink it was a case of reflecting on worrying back-to-back defeats at the start of the season.

“When you get a red card that early, and in that manner, and then they score from that free-kick, it is going to be a difficult afternoon” he said.

“Nevertheless, I have played with 10 men before and still kept myself in the game and that is the disappointment about it. Our heads went down and we caved in and the first half was like last week, very disappointing but for different reasons.

“I don’t think that it was a red card. I have just seen it from the television and Conor touches the ball first and the boy dives. The referee is free-kick eager and he gives a red card. But then still we need to do better.”

Hasselbaink was frustrated with his defence and hinted at possible changes.

“It’s a mentality thing and we have got enough about us to not let our heads go down,” he said.

“It is embarrassing. It is not rocket science. I can’t keep on putting my hand above certain individuals. It is very disappointing to see.”

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