sport news and Bristol Rovers face off for place in Checkatrade Trophy final 

The last time boss Jack Ross was at Wembley Stadium he was with the Tartan Army at Euro 96.

The last time Bristol Rovers manager Graham Coughlan was there, he was with his three children cheering Jesse Lingard's winner as won the FA Cup.

They may be fighting to fulfil expectations in League One, Ross to lead the Wearsiders up after back-to-back relegations and Coughlan to avoid the drop, but both know about what a trip to Wembley means for supporters and with Portsmouth awaiting, the Checkatrade Trophy final has the promise of a special occasion.

Sunderland boss Jack Ross has not been to Wembley since attending Euro 96 as a Scotland fan

boss Jack Ross has not been to Wembley since attending Euro 96 as a Scotland fan

Pompey have requested the maximum allocation of 38,000 tickets, and both and Bristol Rovers have fan-bases capable of taking the venue close to its capacity for the showpiece on March 31.

'We have to embrace the pressure,' said Ross ahead of the trip to Bristol. 'Whether the club is in the Premier League or League One the demands mean pressure every day, so rather than try to play it down it's about being resilient and realistic enough to deal with it. We've spoken openly about it. We never try to shy away from it.

'We're reminded of the size of the club by the training ground and the stadium. In my experience, this is an unbelievable football club but demanding, the two go hand-in-hand. You can't have the rewards of a big club without the demands.'

Ross was in the crowd at Wembley to see Scotland's defeat by England, which featured one of the stadium's most iconic goals scored by Paul Gascoigne

Ross was in the crowd at Wembley to see Scotland's defeat by England, which featured one of the stadium's most iconic goals scored by Paul Gascoigne

ROAD TO SEMI-FINALS

Group: Stoke U21s (H) 0-0 (4-2 pens)

Group: Carlisle (H) 3-1

Group: Morecambe (A) 1-0

R2: Notts COunty (H) 2-0

R3: Newcastle U21s (H) 4-0

QF: Manchester City U21s 2-0

Five years ago were in the League Cup final at Wembley, losing to Manchester City. FA Cup winners in 1937 and 1973, their fans may associate a trip to North London with grander occasions but the EFL Trophy in its various incarnations in 36 years since it was launched as the Associate Members' Cup has produced some memorable finals watched by huge crowds.

Bristol Rovers took 32,000 fans to Wembley when it was the Leyland DAF Cup in 1990, when they were beaten 2-1 by Tranmere Rovers.

'We know Portsmouth against in the final would be a big occasion but we're a hard-working club and we'll give our all,' said Rovers boss Coughlan, who was confirmed in his first managerial role in January, stepping up from the backroom staff to replace Darrell Clarke.

'I thought I'd missed the boat to be honest. I've been the bridesmaid, helping managers and I've enjoyed my coaching roles. It's been 10 years of learning and I'd fallen at the interview stage a few times. This is a massive

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