The Football League Paper - - ADAM VIRGO -

WILL Bristol Rovers and Bar­net make a suc­cess of their re­turn to the Football League? They cer­tainly won’t strug­gle.

For Rovers, mak­ing an in­stant come­back fol­low­ing rel­e­ga­tion in 2014 was a mas­sive achieve­ment.

Man­ager Dar­rell Clarke was un­der tremen­dous pres­sure down there. If they hadn’t got pro­moted, I think he’d have lost his job. I’m glad he didn’t. I saw Dar­rell at The Non-League Pa­per’s Na­tional Game Awards in May and the way he was talk­ing about Rovers’ fu­ture was very en­cour­ag­ing.

He’s not rush­ing out and buy­ing play­ers on silly money.

In my days at the Mem, money was thrown around all over the place and peo­ple earned quite a lot.

I think that went against them be­cause play­ers were com­ing for the cash, not for the club. They were try­ing to buy suc­cess in­stead of earn it.

Dar­rell has turned that round. These days, you aren’t re­warded sim­ply for turn­ing up. You’re re­warded for suc­cess and that’s how it should be.

As for Bar­net, they were nowhere near the best side on pa­per last year. At the start of the sea­son, no-one was even talk­ing about them mak­ing the top six.

But Martin Allen has a knack for turn­ing an av­er­age squad into a great team and that’s ex­actly what he did.

He knows the di­vi­sion. He know what he wants. He likes big, phys­i­cal play­ers, he likes to go di­rect and he’s not ashamed to say ‘This is the way I like to play and this is what has brought me suc­cess’.

Be­sides, the jump from the Con­fer­ence is noth­ing these days. The top six or seven are easily good enough to com­pete in League Two.

Bar­net will be safe and Rovers should push for a sec­ond pro­mo­tion.

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