What can we read into pre-season?
Rovers completed their pre-season obligations this afternoon with a thoroughly deserved and accomplished 2-1 victory over Celtic at Celtic Park.
Dunny and Alan Judge were the guys who put us on the path to victory and rounded off what was a real mixed bag series of warm up games.
We started off in Austria with a non-event 0-0 draw with Sturm Graz and cruised to solid enough wins over Fleetwood Town and Morecambe before losing pace with some half hearted and lazy showings at Preston and with the young lads at Huddersfield.
The Sydney festival of football was the highlight but on the pitch saw some sloppiness and some encouragement in equal measures... defeats to Rangers with jet lag and to a mightily impressive AEK Athens were off set by a good win over a plucky Sydney FC.
You could be forgiven for not realising the Sydney tournament took place though, none of the resident Australian VBers even mentioned it once ;)
After a week off, a draw at Hearts and a win over Celtic in Scotland rounded off proceedings.
The good news is that we have kept early season opponents such as Everton, Arsenal and Birmingham guessing, apart from the matches down under we have often kept the main players apart - two games have taken place either on the same day or across a couple of days meaning the full strength side has rarely been on show.
Defeats have been reacted to in pre-season with too much panic in my eyes, where as likewise we cannot read too much into the wins, they mean as little as the defeats.
Pre-season is all about getting fitness into the players legs and understanding into their brains. I think the mission has been accomplished (apart from maybe with Niko and Samba who have been injured for a large chunk of the games) as the players have looked more alert as we have gone along.
The young Rovers have also had opportunities to gel with the more senior players and as long as none of them have been watching and mimicking Jason Roberts' composure in front of goal then I think it will have done them some good.
Come on Rovers, let's get into 'em next weekend.