Last week I slammed Rovers’ poor performance at Sunderland and hoped that the team would work hard and put things right against Shrewsbury Town on Saturday, writes Stephen Knowlson.

After all, we couldn’t possibly play any worse than we did against the Black Cats could we?

I was wrong. Like many Gasheads I was looking for a reaction from the players and manager and was hoping that they would take the fight to the visitors – a team also suffering from an indifferent run of form. Instead, Bristol Rovers served up one of the most insipid displays of football that the Memorial Stadium faithful have witnessed for many years.

It was abject from start to finish. Rovers created virtually nothing and were timid on the ball with the midfield particularly bad, especially Clarke and Upson. Clark-Harris was isolated and frustrated up front and had very little service either from the midfield or down the flanks. Leahy was terrible and gave the ball away constantly whilst the only player to come away with any credit was Jamal Blackman in goal who made a couple of good saves in the first half to keep the scores level.

The second half performance was awful and Rovers thoroughly deserved to fall behind to what was the only decent bit of play in the entire match. Shrewbury’s Williams ran through, passed to Daniel Udoh who left Menayese for dead and lashed home an impressive strike from 20 yards.

Rovers never looked like equalising and a desperately disappointing match finished 1-0 to the Shrews. Let’s be clear, this was no stellar performance from the visitors, they were not made to work and their keeper had just a single effort – a Kilgour header – to deal with over the entire 90 minutes.

I have no idea what Garner is trying to do at the moment. He says that he wants to play possession-based passing football but much of what was on display on Saturday was just hoofball. Either the players aren’t capable of playing as he wants them to or they’re just ignoring him.

We travel to almost-relegated Southend this Saturday – on that performance the Essex outfit have little to fear.