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Defeat in Barnsley for Wade’s Robins

Cheltenham Town met former Manager Michael Duff very early into their second League One campaign as the Robins visited Barnsley in just their second match.

The only goal of the fixture came from former Robin Luke Thomas, when he latched onto a poor pass from Alfie May and scored, leaving Cheltenham still without a point so far.

Wade Elliott’s side put in a brave performance but were unable to come away with any share of the points.
After the match, Elliott praised the performance from the team in what was a tough fixture.

Elliott said: “It wasn’t a classic and we knew it was always going to be scrappy. Two similar systems and styles. We spoke about it before the game and at half-time that it was always going to be a game of a moment, and we didn’t expect it to be high scoring. We thought it’d be decided by one moment and they have managed to nick that moment. In a game with nothing in it, they are on the ceiling and clapping four sides of the ground and we are in the dressing room feeling terrible and hurting like mad, when in reality there was very little in the game.
“We didn’t ever pass it like we did last week and we didn’t have the same cutting edge, but we expected that because we knew what type of game it would be. We knew we’d get turned round and we’d have to fight for second balls. We knew they’d be happy to sit into a back five, so we expected it to be scrappy and dogged and in all those aspects of the game I was pretty happy. It maybe took us 10 minutes to find our rhythm. We had to weather a bit of pressure at the start of the second half and we saw that out. The subs made an impact.

“We got the momentum of the game back and that was when the goal came. When it did come, we knew they’d make it very difficult.”

A typical tough performance from a Michael Duff side which Robins fans have come to expect from their former manager.
There were plenty of positives to take from the game and with a quick turn around it won’t be long before this game is behind the team and they can look ahead to many more tough tests.

Elliott continued: “We knew they’d lost the game last week, they are 1-0 up and we knew they’d get jittery. We thought we could gamble and put more and more pressure on them. We were waiting for something to fall to us. We had one or two chances, but nothing clear-cut. A game of fine margins. We’ve come out on the wrong side and the key is that we don’t turn it into a tragedy. We internalise the hurt and the pain and it’s important the players keep focusing on performances.
“It’s a quick turnaround, so we have an idea of what we’ll need to do against Exeter and then it’ll be a one-day prep for that. We’ll debrief this more by video and then we’ll quickly turn our attention to Exeter.
“We’ll chat about the game now (Elliott and Duff). I know we are friends, but I was desperate to beat him. I am hurting, the players in the dressing room are hurting, so I’ll have to swallow that for the next half an hour and go and be as polite and civil as I can, but I’ve said to the players, bottle it up, internalise it and channel it in the best way possible, getting a reaction on Monday and Tuesday.”
The Robins won’t be panicking yet because of the nature of League One football where fixtures and points can come thick and fast, but with two games so far and no points on the board Wade Elliott will be hoping his team can start to pick up some reward for their efforts sooner rather than later.
Cheltenham next face Portsmouth at home in the league and after a midweek cup fixture will be hoping for a strong performance and more importantly a victory.

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