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In opposition: Cheltenham Town - what they're saying

4 March 2022

Cheltenham Town manager Michael Duff believes his side has been stronger in the second half of the season.

The Robins are 10 points from safety having lost two of their last 10 games in Sky Bet League One and face Rovers on the back of a defeat to Crewe Alexandra.

On the loss last time out against Crewe:

“We actually started the game really well, and we probably should have been one up in the first two minutes. We never really got a foothold in the game. We didn’t do any of the things we asked them to do.

“We looked leggy, flat. That was a disappointment because we changed the team against Ipswich Town so we’d have a bit more spark to us.

“I thought the atmosphere was flat, and sometimes supporters need to realise we’re not just going to rock up and batter teams. Ultimately, they’ve had two shots on goal from two set plays. So, as poor as we were with the ball, we can’t give up goals like that.”

On Kion Etete’s form:

“He was frustrating against Crewe Alexandra; did some good things; he was a bit loose. He’ll be happy he scored a goal – that’s what centre-forwards are like. There’s definitely a good combination between him and Alfie May. He has some pain in his ankle. Hopefully, he can get alright and be back for the visit of Rovers.”

On the team’s form since the beginning of January:

“We think we’ve been stronger in the second half of the season on the second cycle with results against so-called bigger teams, but we just try to keep on improving every week, and try to stay competitive every week. That won’t change from now until the end of the season, no matter who the opposition is.

“I think we’ve been competitive all season against the middle- and the bottom-half of the league. Earlier in the season, there was a real gulf in class between us and the top boys.”

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