Darrell Clarke: Bristol Rovers boss clarifies goalkeeper dilemma

Mark McChrystal
Mark McChrystal spent 50 minutes in goal for Bristol Rovers on Tuesday

Bristol Rovers boss Darrell Clarke has accepted he should have named a goalkeeper on the bench at Wrexham, after defender Mark McChrystal ended up in goal for 50 minutes of the 0-0 draw.

McChrystal was given the gloves on Tuesday when Steve Mildenhall was forced off with a knee injury.

And the centre-back helped Rovers keep a clean sheet against 10-man Wrexham.

"I'll hold my hands up and say we should have had a keeper on the bench," Clarke told BBC Radio Bristol.

"I've done it a lot of times, where I haven't put one on the bench, but it's now something I'll have to look at.

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McChrystal pleased with keeper cameo

"But McChystal has come in and done a great job."

Rovers back-up keeper Will Puddy is currently unavailable because of injury, while Kieran Preston, 18, has yet to make a senior appearance.

And with Mildenhall now expected to be out for about three weeks, Clarke is likely to take a player on an emergency loan as cover.

"I'll have a look around as Kieran is a young lad who's not quite ready yet," said Clarke. "He's progressing nicely but he's not ready to be chucked in the deep end.

"Now I'll get on the blower to get a keeper in."

McChrystal had never played in goal before and spoke about his experience after the final whistle at the Racecourse Ground, which extended Rovers' unbeaten run to seven league games.

"It was an interesting evening. I wasn't expecting that," said the Northern Irish defender.

"He [Clarke] asked me to do it and I said no problem, I'd give it a go. It's not as easy as it looks.

"I think I did fine. The lads did well in front of me and maybe them being down to 10 helped as well, but we kept a clean sheet."

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