ROVERS are struggling to adapt to life in the Conference as they slumped to defeat at part-time Altrincham on Saturday.

Fans were eager to see the team bounce back from the midweek setback at Barnet and secure our first win of the season.

However there was no chance of that happening with a poor first half performance in which the Pirates proved to be second best to their opponents, going in at the break trailing 1-0.

Although Rovers improved after the interval an own goal by McChrystal effectively ended the contest and a late header by Mansell was only a consolation.

Our misery was compounded by the sending off of Sinclair late on for a professional foul.

The Gas need to up their game considerably if this season isn’t going to peter out into another disappointing struggle.

Players also need to change their mindset as they seem to think they simply have to turn up to secure three points because we are Bristol Rovers.

That attitude shows naivety and complacency, bordering on arrogance, and will get us nowhere in this division.

Unless we match the endeavour, desire and commitment of opposing teams we will quickly get found out and Clarke needs to prove his managerial worth by preparing the team better, mentally as well as tactically.

Rovers have to get their first win of the season against Telford at the Memorial Stadium on Saturday, ahead of the Bank Holiday Monday derby at Forest Green Rovers.

Geoff Dunford quit his position as a director of Rovers this week for personal reasons and we wish him all the best in his future endeavours.

His family, notably with father Denis at the helm, saved the club in the 1980s by overseeing the move to Twerton Park in Bath when we were forced to leave Eastville. What we would give now for a team that showed the same spirit and resolve from that memorable era at Twerton.

The current players should be shown DVDs from the promotion-winning side of 1990 to show what it should mean to pull on the famous quarters and represent the club.