Ward highlights Clarke role

Bristol Rovers boss John Ward has hailed the unsung performances of the 'extremely reliable' Ollie Clarke.

Last Updated: 13/01/14 at 14:29

Ollie Clarke: Unsung hero in midfield

Ollie Clarke: Unsung hero in midfield

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The 21-year-old's midfield partner John-Joe O'Toole grabbed three goals in four days to earn them last-gasp victories over Crawley and then Exeter but Ward believes the hard-working displays of Clarke has made that attacking threat possible.

"Young Ollie Clarke at his young age has had to take responsibility in these two games," he explained. "He has to stay around and look after the shop basically.

"He lets John-Joe go and have a bit of a maraud because that is what he is good at.

"Ollie deserves big credit for that, that he has been able to do that in two games and we've won the matches.

"He won't get credit because he didn't score and he's not exciting in that sense. He is extremely reliable and that is what makes a good football team."

Former Wycombe forward Matt Harrold was also picked out for praise after his display as the Pirates' targetman against the Grecians.

"I thought he was excellent at Crawley in midweek and again against Exeter because so many of our forward movements can come off him," said Ward.

"He is a very strong character n terms of the way he plays. He was man of the match by the supporters so I am not the only one who recognises his efforts."

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e have the personnel. The trick is keeping them fit. Carrick and Blind have missed large chunks of the season, while the defence has been one muddled mess of intermittent stooges, all coming and going at various intervals thus far. We may be just short of title winning quality, but we're half way through. An injury crisis to either of the top two could change things. Optimistic, yes, but not unrealistic.

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e almost found a new way to lose, just when I thought it was getting boring Giroud does that. Although Arsenal are deservedly called 'soft' the entire midfield is out injured. Still must admit MU are managing to win despite a similar raft of absentees. Think the Gunners have good players but poorly coached.

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