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Wednesday, June 12, 2024
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HomeSportFootballFans gutted as Cheltenham Town go down!

Fans gutted as Cheltenham Town go down!

Cheltenham Town’s three-year stay in League One came to an end as they were beaten 2-1 by Stevenage on the final day of the season.
Matty Taylor’s equaliser was not enough to help the robins battle to victory, and defeat sealed the side’s fate.
They will play in League Two next season despite the players’ efforts. Injuries and a number of changes throughout the season didn’t help Cheltenham’s situation. Manager Darrell Clarke did extremely well to take it to the last game of the season, but the players just couldn’t do enough to get over the line.
The Robins conceded a penalty in added time of the first half, and then a stoppage-time winner as tired legs couldn’t keep ninth-place Stevenage out. Everyone on the pitch put in their best efforts as they have done all season, but the overall quality and depth of a League One side was missing and now Cheltenham must go again from League Two.
Manager Darrell Clarke was disappointed but proud of his side’s efforts.
After the game he said: “I am gutted for our supporters and gutted for everybody at the football club. To miss out by a couple of points is gut-wrenching. But the table doesn’t lie after 46 games and the boys have given me everything since I’ve been in the building, but we’ve just missed out.
“There haven’t been many games when I can fault them to be honest. Just on that quality element of what they need to be a League One player on a more regular basis and we haven’t shown that, certainly in the last eight weeks, that bit of quality at times. Heart, desire and application: the boys haven’t left anything out on the pitch, that’s for sure. I always say this, it’s not how many times you get knocked down in life, it’s how many times you get up. Tough day for the football club, but it’s a great club and I am sure we’ll bounce back.”
Darrell Clarke doesn’t yet know his own future as he prepares for a summer break after a tough season.
He continued: “For me, I need to get my head around this. I have given everything I can to try and keep us in League One and I have failed to do that by the smallest of margins. I need time to settle and think, need to speak about what the plan is moving forward and I am sure those discussions will go further down the line with the chairman and the shareholders. We’ll see. Now is not the time to really talk about my future. I am really gutted for everybody at the football club, I really am.
“It’s all about the plan of how we move forward once the dust has settled on these things, see how we want to grow to bounce back. Those discussions will go further down the line. It’s very raw at the minute, so I don’t want to talk too much about that. I want to apologise to our fans as the manager who has led us back into League Two, but certainly myself and the players, we felt we did everything and I am sure we’ll bounce back.”
Cheltenham now head back in to try and regroup and gear up for life in League Two. They have had such a tough 23/24 campaign that it will take time for players to recover mentally and physically and get ready to go again with the demands England’s fourth tier brings.
Clarke emphasised how the physicality of League One really affected his side.
He said: “I never stopped believing since I came in the door. We knew the task in hand and I tried to keep the place positive and energised. We’ve had some hits, obviously, we are Cheltenham Town in League One, so that will always be the case, but the boys kept finding that response. My biggest disappointment is, which can happen to all clubs up and down the country, if I had a fully fit squad, or even a few players and even a bit of luck on that front, we could have quite comfortably stayed up, but it wasn’t to be and it wasn’t our day, it wasn’t our season. We must go again.
“Keeno (Aidan Keena) has an operation on his shoulder on Wednesday. He still wanted to be part of it. (Lewis) Freestone has had a problem in his knee for a long period of time and he’s not been able to train. Lloydy (George Lloyd) has been playing through the pain barrier with a tendon injury, Tayls (Matty Taylor) has come back two or three weeks too soon. Petty (Tom Pett) has a thigh strain. Numerous boys have put their bodies on the line. Curtis Davies has just spoken there, a 39-year-old man and what a warrior. He’ll probably call it a day now, but what a guy, what a guy. He said it was a privilege to play with these boys, for their resilience this season. He doesn’t mince his words, so that’s credit to the boys because they’ve had a response from a proper warrior.”

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