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Checkatrade Trophy

Coughlan's side are in it to win it

5 March 2019

Bristol Rovers manager Graham Coughlan says his side are in it to win it as they prepare to face Sunderland in Semi-Final of the Checkatrade Trophy.

The Gas have turned their fortunes around since the appointment of Coughlan back in January, and the Irishman says the competition gives Clubs a realistic chance to play at Wembley Stadium.

He said: “It is a game of football and the lads are getting around to my way of thinking, they want to win and they want to win every game of football they play in.

“It is a Semi-Final against Sunderland and they will all want to play, and they will be disappointed if they don’t, but then again that bodes well for competition for places.

“It’s a nice competition and one I have said, realistically, is one of two chances to get to Wembley as a football club, so this is a chance to do that.

Rovers have seen off the likes of Port Vale and Northampton Town on their way to the final four of the competition, and Coughlan says he has enjoyed a different pressure from the one that league football brings.

He added: “It is nice getting away from the everyday stresses and the permutations of the league, so in that way it has been nice to get away from that.

“The competition has given us the opportunity throughout to give some of the players game time who have not normally played on a Saturday afternoon.

“If they have been coming back from injury or suspension, we have been able to use this competition where I am happy, I have squad that is fit and raring to go.”

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