Blue Square Bet
Published 13th August 2012
....Premier points against Cambridge United.
Widely tipped for the play-offs this season after the recruitment of four new forwards, Rovers were indebted to last season's top scorer Yan Klukowski in earning a 1-1 draw.
The midfielder's 89th minute penalty cancelled out Tom Elliott's first half opener for Cambridge, who saw little of the ball for long periods but almost earned maximum reward for their rigidly organised approach.
Hockaday said: "We have to make this place a fortress, so for us this is two points dropped.
"But considering the way the game went we have to be grateful that we took a point.
"I thought we were very nervy, as the first game is, and until Cambridge scored they hadn't allowed us to play.
"But after the goal it was like the shackles were off us, and although it wasn't the most fluent we've ever played we totally dominated.
"Cambridge had one shot on target in the whole game, but their keeper was outstanding and I though their fans were magnificent because they kept their team going when they were chasing shadows."
Rovers had to do without four injured defenders for their opening fixture of 2012/13, forcing Jamie Turley to switch from central defence to right-back and Jamie Collins to withdraw from his usual midfield role.
But Hockaday remains confident in the depth and versatility of his squad – and has vowed to persist with the patient, short-passing approach that at times looked laboured on Saturday.
"I was disappointed because there was about an 8-minute spell before we scored when we started kicking the ball long," he said.
"It's not about that - it's about believing in the way we want to play. We got the ball down and started getting into areas again.
"I cannot and will not ever fault the spirit of the team, and I thought we passed the legs off Cambridge at the end.
"It's not like we have to rush injured players back like last season or the season before – I've got great cover in every position.
"I thought Ed Asafu-Adjaye was outstanding at left-back and Jamie Collins is a great lad and very vociferous, playing his part as he always does."