Often Partisan

GAMEDAY – Bristol Rovers v Blues

Birmingham City face Conference play-off winners Bristol Rovers in the first round of the Capital One Cup on the back of a narrow 2-1 victory over Reading at the weekend. Manager Gary Rowett is expected to make changes to the lineup for the match.

Bristol Rovers

Manager Darrell Clarke has said that he wants to put out a strong team to face Blues – however he is likely to be without the services of Will Puddy, Mark McChrystal and Lee Mansell who are all injured.

The Gas lost their first game back in the Football League 1-0 at home to Northampton Town at the weekend and will be hoping that they will perform better against Rowett’s men.


Gary Rowett has made it clear he intends to make changes to his team and four development squad players have been given squad numbers ahead of the game – goalkeeper Connal Trueman, midfielders Charlee Adams and Reece Brown along with striker Alex Jones.

I suspect Rowett may change the formation slightly, either going 4-4-2 or maybe even 4-3-3 with the players at his disposal. I can see Adam Legzdins coming in for Tomasz Kuszczak, Reece Brown potentially for Stephen Gleeson and David Davis for Maikel Kieftenbeld with maybe a front three of Jacques Maghoma, Koby Arthur and Wes Thomas.

The game is a bit of a hiding to nothing for Blues; lose and it’s a “cupset”, win and it’s an expected performance. What I hope we gain most from it is the chance to give gametime to some of the fringe players to encourage them to push the first XI – and a chance for talent like Reece Brown to show that they’re worth the hype.

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41 Responses to “GAMEDAY – Bristol Rovers v Blues”

  • Dave Mann says:

    I agree with all the changes for tonight and if Reece Oxford can play premiership football at 16 then it’s about time Reece Brown moved up to the plate .. It’s over to you pal. Kro

  • Kazakblue says:

    I often wonder if Tremor Francis would have gotten his opportunity at 16 in today’s climate??

  • Big Al says:

    I’d play Kusczcak – that boy needs some more game time. He was dreadful for Wolves initially last season but then improved exponentially the more he played. I would expect to see Novak in the starting 11 tonight.

  • swissjonny says:

    We need to use this as a what if game.That is to say what if Donaldson and various other key players got injured at the same time.I agree with Big Al give Kusczak more game time.I hate to disrespect cup competitions and the people who are kind enough to sponsor them but we are in a very special situation and must use them to our advantage to enhance our prospects in the league.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I think you make a good point. Let’s see how we do without the likes of Morrison, Cotterill and Donaldson. There’s a chance that we might have to do without these important players at some point in the season, so let’s see how our 2nd options get on.

  • Oldbluenose says:

    i hope we put out a decent side tonight, The Championship must be our main aim, but Cup runs stir the passions and add to gate revenues,

    It will be interesting to see what GR, does to replace David Edgar,?.

  • mark says:

    yes it find making changes and maybe freshen up things, for me personally i would play the same team that beat reading, this can start understanding between the players…swapping and changing seems quite pointless just after one game…..keep the changes minimal imo…..less impacted on the team….

  • Shirley Blue says:

    At the very least he should leave out Donaldson and Morrison tonight because these are two key players we cannot replace like for like from the current squad. Hopefully we will get two players in soon to provide cover but we simply cannot afford injuries to these two as things stand at the moment. Personally I wouldnt start with any of the starting X1 from Saturday. Its an opportunity for the second string of first team squad players and youngsters to show what they can do and push for a place.

  • rhees says:

    I agree with the comments made as long as we put a side out to win. A loss will do confidence no good and start a panic by more fical fans.

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    Team for tonight? L; CMHardingHancox; MagDavisBrownArthur; Shinnie; Thomas

  • StaffsBlue says:

    Caddis Spector Grounds Hancox
    Brown Davis
    Novak Shinnie Maghoma

    Let’s have a proper look to see if the 2nd choices can step up. We can always have the first choices on the bench if needed.

    • Barny Blue says:

      Personally, I would keep the back 5 from the weekend – they need game time together and there are limited options to change anyway (don’t agree with change for change sake). I agree with rotating the other players though as we have greater options and need to keep everyone sharp and ready to ‘step-in’ for league matches if/ when required. My team would be (4-2-3-1):

      Caddis Morrison Spector Grounds
      Brown Davis
      Arthur Shinnie Maghoma


  • Dave Mann says:

    Koby instead of Novak but everyone else the same staffs . Kro

  • Richard Granfield says:

    Tonight’s game is an ideal opportunity for Reece Brown to stake a claim for a starting spot against Burnley.
    For me, even at 19, he is a better player than either Gleeson or Davis. With Kiefenbeld beside him I believe he would offer more creativity than the aforementioned duo.
    My team for tonight:-
    Eardley, Spector, Robinson, Grounds;
    Brown, Kiefenbeld:
    Arthur, Shinnie, Maghoma:

    SUBS:- Kuszczak, Morrison, Davis, Toral, Novak, Gray, Donaldson.

  • Bluenosesol says:

    Just concerned that if we use this game as a test for too many edge of the squad players, then we are looking at a potential defeat. Best start with the “trialists” and have our regulars on the bench to come in if the game looks like too big a challenge for the starters. A decent cup run impacts on the feel good factor at the club.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I see your point Sol, but how are we ever going to see if the fringe players are up to it, if not in these type of games? For me personally, I’d rather find out tonight, than have to throw them in against the likes of Burnley or Derby. Just a thought.

  • Dave Mann says:

    FA cup , yes we will pick a far better team but for the league cup we’ve got to play the second string without a shadow to see what they’ve got to offer , I know we won it back in 2011 and we’ve fond memories but we’ve got to keep the starting line up against Reading for Burnley Saturday and that’s the major priority , ime sorry but the league cup as got to be used for fringe players and not the first 11 , I agree with staffs that these cup games must be used for that purpose …. If and it’s a big IF we get to the latter stages then we might look at it differently but until then it’s. Big NO from me !! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      My main thinking is, Rowett says he’s happy with the squad now (apart from maybe a couple of additions) which means to me that he believes that the fringe players are up to the job. So let’s put that to the test. If selected, it’s up to those players to perform to a level that makes the manager think again about his preferred XI. For me, when a fringe player does get an opening, it’s up to him to stake his claim. Certain players will have that chance tonight I believe.

      • Shirley Blue says:

        I would be very disappointed if he is happy with it and I very much doubt whether he is. I would hope to see another two players come in (centre back and striker) and a few fringe players going out probably on loan. Tom Ross said there would be two more coming in very soon on the way home from the match on Saturday (if thats anything to go by!).

        • StaffsBlue says:

          He’s said in interview that he’s happy with the squad and the way things are going. Also, the top line of my post said (apart from maybe a couple of additions.) So I don’t really see your point!

  • Play with pride control your areas and keep it tight at the back and create 7+shots on target and bring us the cup home BLUENOSES

  • Dave Mann says:

    Bristol city offer £6 million for Dwight Gale !! WOW! Kro

  • Dave Mann says:

    It will for certain but it will be at least 3 seasons down the line when this two years is up and let’s just hope we’re still in the championship when that happens so it’s mid table this season , pushing for playoffs next season and going for the championship in that next one then it’s money ahoy!! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Not so sure about the money part, but I think that, yes, within two years of being taken over, we should be able to mount some sort of challenge.

  • Dave Mann says:

    You said our day will come again and from that I take it you meant were be able to spend £6 million on a player , that’s what I meant money ahoy !! .. After the 2 year period surely that money might be available then .. If not it’s a long , long , long , long road and it’s beginning to become a motorway ! Kro

    • StaffsBlue says:

      I suppose, the way the championship is going now, £6m isn’t a massive amount.. but whether we’ll ever get back to being able to pay those kind of fees for a player, rather depends on who eventually buys us. If someone like TTA is only taking us on short term, they’re not going to throw sh1tloads at the team are they? I think £1m would be a marquee signing for us these days… but after the last 3 years, I think even that would be exciting.

  • Dave Mann says:

    Three seasons time is not a million mikes away pete !! Kro

  • AussieBlue says:

    Another 2-1 win against Rovers. Narrow victories so much better than narrow defeats. When I look at other Championship clubs knocked out last night maybe not such a narrow win after all.

  • swissjonny says:

    As GR said a good nights work.Very impressed with his extremely intelligent after match comments.I just hope that the club can give him some more money to bring in the 2 players that we are missing.He seems like a loyal bloke but in an ideal world we need to keep him happy to keep him..

  • BhamCityJulian says:

    No Hancox = no future at BCFC

  • jonno11blue says:

    I hope Gary was joking when he said some of the performances last night gave him food for thought for his team selection against Burnley. For me none of these fringe players showed anything to indicate they will get anywhere near the starting 11. Novak and Thomas were very disappointing. I can’t understand how Koby Arthur didn’t get a game.
    Central defender is a must this week, especially if any concerns over Morrison’s fitness.

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