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Howarth: Difficult Game

10 April 2014

Assistant manager Neil Howarth is expecting a tough game away at Exeter this weekend.

Assistant manager Neil Howarth speaking to the media ahead of this weekend's Sky Bet League 2 game away at Exeter City (3.07pm):

"We have a talented bunch of kids and they have been dipping in and out of the squad all season. They train with us regularly too so, from an established player's point of view, you always having someone chomping at your heels for your place in the team. With good young players coming through there will always be a chance that they might get chucked in. It's good having the option because sometimes they come into the team with no fear and no baggage. They have a clear head and just want to play football rather than perhaps when they get a bit older and start to over analyse things.

"You do need to be careful because you don't chuck three or four young players in at the same time because the team might not do themselves justice and the individuals might not either. We have had three second year scholars, including Zack Kotwica, playing in the first team this year which is a good record and if we can use them again between now and the end of the season to help us pick up three points then that will be good.

"If we do bring in youth then the older lads have to step up, be leaders and stand up to be counted. It is good to see the young lads around because they just come to play. They do the wrong things a lot of the time but they also do things you cannot coach or teach. One of the highs of this year has been seeing some of the second years come through, training with the lads and seeing the quality that some of them have.

"Nobby (David Noble) was sore on Saturday and it was a shame he had to come off but he has had a couple of days with Weso. You know what he is like, he's like one of the younger boys because all he wants to do is play football so when he's injured then he is grumpy and not nice to be around. He just wants to be fit and hopefully he will have a chance. We did pick up a few niggles in training yesterday. Ashley Vincent and Terry Gornell both have knocks so they will need to be assessed before Saturday. Steve Elliott got a nasty one against Scunthorpe and we had to go without him for Hartlepool. He wasn't ready for Southend but he has been happy with it this week after treatment and hopefully he can come through a training session and that would suit us.

"We played Exeter late on in the season last year and if they had won then they might have had a really good chance of getting into the play-offs but we knew we had to go down there and win to cement our place. We managed to get the win and it was a tough game but it will be equally tough this season. They aren't as high in the league as they were last season, like ourselves, and they would have wanted to be higher. They haven't got the best home record either but they have got some talented players and Paul Tisdale is highly regarded in the football world and he gets his teams playing the right way. It will certainly be difficult on Saturday."

Cheltenham Town are 9/4 to win this weekend and Harry Williams to score at any point during the 90 minutes is 11/2. Sign up to Sky Bet today using our specific URL ( and you will earn the club £10 as well as a FREE matched bet of up to £30 yourself.

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