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WARD - WE TAKE ENCOURAGEMENT FROM SAT

10 February 2014

Manager on tomorrow's game

John Ward is looking forward to a competitive game under the lights when Cheltenham Town visit the Memorial Stadium tomorrow.

He believes that his side can take confidence from their strong performance against Oxford on Saturday.

The manager said: “We come back home on Tuesday night with a lot of encouragement from the game and the result on Saturday. 

“it is a local game and will attract attention. There is always that little bit of edge when you are playing neighbours, and they are good neighbours.

“We look at the league table, and were we to win tomorrow night, we will go a couple of points behind them, so the whole thing has a bit of an edge to it, as to who gets the points.

“We are both trying to improve our positions. Cheltenham are a very stable football club and that is something we are trying to be ourselves.”

And the manager is hoping for a similar atmosphere tomorrow.

He said: “I thought the atmosphere at full time was good on Saturday.

“We played a team that are unbeaten away from home, and when they go a goal up after eight or nine minutes the alarm bells are starting to ring.

“But my team has stood strong for most of this season, and we stood strong on Saturday and came back and got a goal and finished strongly against a good side- now we have to maintain that. At home we have been able to do that more often than not.”

And the manager is likely to be without centre back Mark McChrystal.

John said: “Mark McChrystal is an injury doubt. He is in the treatment room this morning, and he had treatment on it yesterday.

“It is the same knee that gave him problems earlier in the season, but it is the back of the knee this time.

“Tom Lockyer or Pat Keary could play there. Pat came on at Mansfield and did extremely well. We have that option to choose from.”

And thanks to the signings that have come in over the last few weeks, the manager now has a much stronger bench to pick from.

He said: “I had to leave out Mitch Harding and Alefe Santos, who have been figuring around that bench and certainly around the team.

”They are good young players, but we have increased the experience and the knowledge at the moment.

“Maybe when times get a little tougher there are advantages you can get from an experienced player that knows what needs to be done.”

For the full interview visit Gas Player later today.


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