Our FA Cup first-round exit meant there was no fixture for Bristol Rovers last weekend, so the players and management had a welcome opportunity to regroup, Steve Knowlson.

The club is going through a difficult period at the moment both on and off the pitch. A fifth-straight defeat in all competitions to Gillingham plunged us into the relegation mire, cut adrift from safety by a four point margin.

Everyone associated with the club knows why we are struggling – a dismal lack of goals from the front men. Our three main strikers – Payne, Nichols and Reilly have mustered just four goals between them all season, cups and league. That’s dreadful.

Darrell Clarke has had three proven goalscorers sold during his tenure and the replacements he has bought have not cut the mustard. All three arrived with a decent reputation having scored goals for Shrewsbury, Peterborough and St Mirren respectively, so why are they so poor for Rovers?

All strikers thrive on confidence but they also need decent service and a good run in the team. With frequent chopping and changing of tactics and personnel by Clarke it’s been difficult for our strikers to establish any kind of rhythm and when the manager opts to play one up front he’s always isolated and never scores.

The club has a dilemma. Do they stick with the existing strikeforce and hope they come good, or do they back Clarke financially in the January transfer window to bring in new strikers? The Al Qadi family – club owners – have been conspicuous with their absence recently and rumours abound that the club is up for sale.

The new stadium has stalled, as has the new training ground development, so many Gasheads are beginning to think that the owners pockets aren’t quite as deep as was first hoped. Many believe that they hasn’t realized the size of the investment required to take Rovers up to the next level and are now getting cold feet.

If that’s the case then it’s bad news for the club. We need some direction and investment to get us out of the mess we’re currently in and to give Darrell Clarke the backing his current efforts and past achievements deserve.