CLARKE’S KEEN TO SEAL RORY DEAL
DARRELL CLARKE is “desperate” to sign Rovers’ two-goal hero Rory Gaffney on a permanent basis.
But the manager admitted after a convincing win over Luton that his loan recruit’s second double in as many games had not improved the chances of Cambridge United letting him go.
Clarke said: “The goalposts have moved from a week ago when it looked as though we had reached agreement verbally over keeping Rory. That is Cambridge’s prerogative and I have no complaints.
“As things stand, Rory is now their player again and talks will continue over the weekend and maybe into next week. We are desperate to keep him and he is desperate to sign for us, but we will just have to wait and see.
“But I won’t allow one player to be seen as more important than the rest. It was a strong team performance with good individual displays all over the pitch. It has been a very good holiday period for us, but this game can kick you in the teeth when you least expect it. We won’t be getting carried away.”
Gaffney broke the deadlock on the hour, rifling the ball into the roof of the net after Tom Lockyer’s header from a Lee Mansell corner was cleared off the line.
The striker wrapped up the points 12 minutes later when running onto a Lee Brown pass. Goalkeeper Mark Tyler should have done better when failing to hold his first shot and Gaffney made no mistake with the rebound.
Luton came closest to a goal on 57 minutes when Ryan Hall fired narrowly wide of the near post from Craig Mackail-Smith’s pass. But it was a rare effort from a Hatters side who competed strongly without putting together many penetrating moves.
Tyler made the best save of the half, tipping over a Lee Mansell shot on 40 minutes after a good move involving Taylor and Gaffney.
There wasn’t a lot between the teams until Gaffney opened the scoring and Luton caretaker-boss Andy Awford was left to rue some poor defending.
He said: “I’m disappointed with the goals we conceded because they came from basic mistakes. That was what disappointed me most.
“We might have tested their keeper more, but if you give away poor goals you are not going to win football matches.
“I told the players afterwards that the club who win League Two this season will be the one which makes the least mistakes.
“There is now a two-week break from fixtures for us, which would appear an ideal time to bring a new manager in. I have made it clear that I have not applied, but the board know where I am if they want to talk.
“If a new manager is brought in I will happily go back to my role with the academy. I want to be a first-team manager again one day, but whether it is sooner or later we will have to wait and see.”
HIGH FIVE: Rory Gaffney celebrates with Tom Lockyer after scoring Rovers’ first goal THREAT: Ollie Clarke takes a shot at goal for Rovers