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HomeSportFootballNew manager Clarke working hard turn things around

New manager Clarke working hard turn things around

Cheltenham Town drew 1-1 with Wigan Athletic and Manager Darrell Clarke will be disappointed not to have taken all three points after a strong home display.
Fans weren’t too sure which Cheltenham side they’d see after disappointing defeats both in the FA Cup and EFL trophy.

The Robins were beaten by Accrington Stanley in the FA Cup, 5-1, and after the game Manager Clarke was not happy with his players.
A turn around performance against Wigan was just what was needed and just what the recently appointed Robins’ boss got, with Wigan’s point coming from an unfortunate early own goal. The Robins levelled from the penalty spot through Liam Sercombe, the midfielder is in fine form at the moment. Goalkeeper Luke Southwood also had a big part to play in the draw, saving a second half penalty to keep things at 1-1.
Cheltenham had the majority of the chances and Clarke praised his side for their performance.

Manager Darrell Clarke said: “The pleasing thing for me as a manager and for my staff is that we have seen plenty of work out there from the boys that we’ve been working on. That’s what we should see. After a good week’s training, certainly for the starting XI, doing the patterns and what we are trying to work on and what we are trying to create. It was a decent performance, I thought.
“We put them under a lot of stress, we got the press right at times, we have made them play back and made a very good technical team go long at times. We have done a lot of work to try and do that, get in their faces and we caused many problems and created a lot of problems for them.”

Clarke reflected on the difference in performances compared to FA Cup defeat.
He continued: “Last Saturday is chip paper and we’ve put it to bed. It was a poor performance from us. We apologised for it and then you are looking for a reaction from the group. We got that today, so I want to talk about what was a very good performance today. I think the fans appreciated it and we appreciated the support they gave us. They were outstanding today getting behind the team. They’ve seen a team there that wanted to give everything for the shirt and that looked more like a Darrell Clarke team today. Like I’ve said to the players, we’ve set a standard today and we don’t want to dip below that and we keep working away, keep trying to get better and better and that’s what we’ll try and do.
“You have to show character in games to come from behind. We weren’t aggressive enough in the first 15 minutes. We weren’t doing what we’ve worked on. Me and Adam Murray were getting very frustrated on the sides because once they started to work how we wanted to work, we knew we could get the press right and cause them problems. The lads fixed it out there, so that’s credit to them and for the majority of the game, we stayed on the front foot.”

You don’t often see two penalties in one game at League One level, luckily Cheltenham converted theirs and Wigan missed. Clarke also reflected on those decisions.
He said: “I don’t know. Straight after the game I come and speak to you lovely people, so I haven’t had time to watch 90 minutes… next time I will! They are pens and Luke (Southwood) guesses the right way, doesn’t he, so that’s pleasing because it would have been a travesty if we didn’t get anything out of the game, that’s for sure.”

The Wigan performance is now the standard, and if Cheltenham want to survive in League One, they are going to have to make this level of performance the minimum. The team have certainly picked up since Clarke took over and need to continue with a crucial spell of fixtures coming up.



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