Ward pleased with Rovers’ return

John Ward
John Ward

John Ward was full of praise for his Bristol Rovers troops after they claimed a deserved victory over Pompey.

The vastly-experienced Rovers boss has seen his men turn in some improved displays in recent weeks.

But he felt his side withstood a good opening spell from Richie Barker’s side before going on to dominate the second half at the Memorial Stadium.

Ward said: ‘The attitude of the team – we’ve talked about it over the last 10 or 11 games – has been absolutely spot on.

‘We showed it on Wednesday in the FA Cup when the attitude of the team was terrific and we asked for that again.

‘We’ve had to come through some awkward spells.

‘I think Portsmouth started very well and we had to stand up to that.

‘But the first goal was at a really good time for us because it settled things down.

‘The second half I thought we were quite commanding on the front foot and very positive.

‘While we are delighted with how the team has played, we shouldn’t be surprised.’

Ward also felt the scoreline could have been even bigger after Trevor Carson made some important saves for Pompey.

The Rovers boss said: ‘We had two good strikes, and there were a few strong saves from their goalkeeper as well so it could have been more than 2-0.

‘But it was a strong team performance.

‘I was really pleased with all of them, especially as we had one or two coming back from injuries.

‘It is a nice result and a great one for the home support.

‘I have a lot of respect for the supporters here and this one was for them.

‘We played the game in the right way and didn’t mess about.

‘That is part and parcel of winning a game of football at this level.’