Bristol Rovers ready for Cobblers' set-piece threat - but trio won't make the trip

Alfie Kilgour won't be back to face CobblersAlfie Kilgour won't be back to face Cobblers
Alfie Kilgour won't be back to face Cobblers
Joey Barton says his Bristol Rovers side will be ready for Cobblers' set-piece threat.

But Rovers will have to do without three key players when they play at the PTS Academy Stadium on Saturday afternoon.

Barton had hoped to have veteran winger Alex Rodman, centre-back Alfie Kilgour and defensive midfielder Josh Grant back.

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But he has confirmed that none of them will be able to make the trip to face Town in what is a key relegation battle in Sky Bet League One.

Barton told Bristol Live: "Rodders has had a bit of diarrhoea this week so he hasn't even trained and has lost a considerable amount of weight, so that means he's a no-go for the game tomorrow.

"Alf, thought he had a chance but I spoke to him yesterday and he's still really sore so he's going to be out.

"Josh's foot hasn't settled so he will be out tomorrow - he could be out for the rest of the season.

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"I'm good at loads of things but Reiki healing (Japanese palm-healing), stuff like that, I'm not into it. That's something I need to add to my arsenal during the course of the off-season!"

On what he expects to be Cobblers' main danger, Barton said: "They're not big scorers in the division but when they do (score) it tends to come from a restart or a set-piece.

"It's somewhere we will have to shift a bit of our focus on. It'll be a strategy going into today's training session and into the match.

"But, again, we believe in open play and certainly myself as a coach, I do make slight adjustments, in-game and in the build-up to games.

"But also a lot of my focus is on our team, the team we're going to put out and what we do.

"And if we do what we believe we can do, we can cause any team problems."