Joey Barton has almost fully-fit squad for first Bristol Rovers game

Joey Barton
Joey Barton (PA Wire)
16:48pm, Mon 22 Feb 2021
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New Bristol Rovers boss Joey Barton has had little time to assess the Pirates’ squad before his first game at home to Wigan.

The former England international and Fleetwood manager was only appointed on Monday morning but did immediately take his first training session at the Sky Bet League One club.

Central defender Max Ehmer has missed the last two games with a shoulder injury and will be checked.

Rovers did not pick up any fresh injuries in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Gillingham – Tommy Widdrington’s final game in caretaker charge – so Barton has plenty of options at his disposal.

Wigan are waiting on midfielder Chris Merrie after suffering a sixth defeat in seven games at home to Lincoln.

Merrie was substituted at half-time on Saturday to prevent more serious hamstring damage, but the Rovers game will probably come too soon for him.

Gavin Massey replaced Merrie against Lincoln to make his first appearance in almost three months after a calf problem.

Wales midfielder Lee Evans, who has played only once since October 24 after undergoing knee surgery, has had his return delayed by a calf problem and faces up to a further three weeks on the sidelines.

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