Football - Ward aware of August importance

Bristol Rovers boss John Ward wants his side to hit the ground running with 15 points up for grabs in August.

PA Sport

The Pirates make short trips to Exeter and Newport and welcome Scunthorpe, York and Northampton to the Memorial Stadium before the start of September.

And Ward knows those opening games could prove vital.

"It is very important we get off to a good start as we cannot get those games back," he told the club's official website.

"Sometimes people push hard at the end of the season, when they haven't pushed hard at the start - but points mean the same whether you pick them up in August or April.

"It is important to hit the ground running and that is what we want to do - starting with pre-season.

"We have some good pre-season fixtures, especially Derby and Reading at home. The first four or five games of the season fit in with that quite nicely."

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