Graham Coughlan backs Alex Jakubiak to ‘be as good as Britt Assombalonga’



Posted Sunday, December 30, 2018 by PA

Graham Coughlan backs Alex Jakubiak to ‘be as good as Britt Assombalonga’

Bristol Rovers caretaker manager Graham Coughlan was thrilled to see his resurgent side chalk up their third straight win under his stewardship with a 2-0 victory over Oxford.

It was the Pirates’ sixth successive win at Oxford, and this time they had striker Alex Jakubiak to thank for it.

Jakubiak struck in the 15th and 63rd minutes to delight Rovers’ 1,500 travelling support.

Coughlan said: “Alex is a handful. He reminds me of (Middlesbrough striker) Britt Assombalonga and can go on and be as good as him.

“Alex and Tarieq Holmes-Dennis surprised me, to be honest, because I brought them in from the cold and I didn’t know how long they would last.

“It’s been too long that we’ve had to wait for three wins in a row. It was a manful performance from us again today. I’ve seen a performance of guts and pride in the badge.

“Now we are looking for our next challenge. It’s all about confidence and momentum.

“Any player who wants to take their foot off the gas can step aside because I’ve got others who will come in.”

On his own position, Coughlan added: “I was asked to do a job and I’m loving it.”

It was two former Oxford players who combined to give Rovers a 15th-minute lead. Holmes-Dennis crossed from the left and Jakubiak showed good feet to create space and fire low into the bottom right corner from 20 yards.

Jakubiak then pounced on a slip by Rob Dickie to secure the points.

Oxford boss Karl Robinson said: “We were better than them but we made errors.

“The first goal was a silly goal from our point of view, we then ran the game but couldn’t score, and they then hit us when we made another error. After that it was huff and puff from us.

“With what they had on the bench they are better than us at the moment. We have certainly worked hard today, but we feel we have let people down again.”

It was a second successive home defeat over the Christmas period for the U’s, who lost 1-0 to Southend on Boxing Day.

“Our players have to be mentally strong to get over this,” Robinson said.

“One or two of them are on the edge of being very, very tired and we have to find a way of motivating ourselves and getting a result at Plymouth on New Year’s Day.”

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