Ward sad to be the one that confirms Rovers’ relegation

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward admits he will feel more than a tinge of sadness when his side confirm former club Bristol Rovers’ relegation to League Two tomorrow afternoon.

COLCHESTER United manager John Ward admits he will feel more than a tinge of sadness when his side confirm former club Bristol Rovers’ relegation to League Two tomorrow afternoon.

The south west outfit are all but down due to their poor goal difference. Even if results go their way tomorrow they require a highly unlikely 16-goal swing.

“I’ll have more than a tinge of sadness for them because they’re a club I’ve got a lot of affection for and a lot of time for,” said Ward, who was at the club between 1993 and 1996 in what was his second full managerial job.

“I spent three years there at Twerton Park where we pulled together massively. I called us a team of beggers, stealers and borrowers because we owned nothing.

“The training ground was at a chocolate factory, the shop was at a place called Kingswood, the training ground was in Keynsham – nothing was actually in Bristol.

“When they’ve had some success I’ve been delighted for them and likewise this season I’ve been disappointed for them too.

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“I’ve always called Bristol Rovers a proper football club because their supporters do turn out. They had 8,000 there last week for example.

“I’m disappointed for them but I’ve got to try and beat them with my team on Saturday and I’m sure they understand that.”

Meanwhile, U’s striker Steven Gillespie will not be able to train for six weeks after having a metal plate inserted into his left arm during surgery. The Liverpudlian suffered a wrist injury falling awkwardly at Brentford.

Midfielder Kemi Izzet missed three days training with a foot injury at the start of the week but returned yesterday.

Defender Matt Heath is back in contention after recovering from an illness.

– For full match preview, see tomorrow’s EADT.

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