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Official Blog, 12.2.14

12 February 2014

Robins fan Will Edden dissects the 1-0 loss away at Bristol Rovers through the eyes of a supporter.

I stood up from my stool at the crowded bar and sunk the remainder of my pint in one swift motion.  

As I gazed out of the window of the warm and dry pub, part of me felt like staying put. The rain was lashing against the glass and the people flocking inside were dripping from head to toe. But that split second of doubt was almost immediately extinguished. After all, this was an important game. Cheltenham Town had yet to taste victory in 2014, and what better place to get that victory than at the home of one of your rivals.

What followed was not worth the trouble. A dismal display at the Memorial Stadium leaves us looking nervously over our shoulders rather than looking up towards the play-offs. The sodden pitch was never going to provide a platform for a decent standard of football but it really was a poor match for the spectator. I was not the only one before the game that was predicting a tight affair but unfortunately John Joe O'Toole's first half strike meant that it was Rovers who edged it.

During the game the weather managed to hold out but come full time it was raining problems for gaffer Mark Yates after again we failed to win and our best defender Troy Brown went off injured. He now needs to work out how to pick this team up and flood it with much needed confidence ahead of what now is a massive game against Wycombe on Saturday – a large improvement will be needed if we are to register a much overdue three points. I think most supporters feel that the effort and commitment has been there in recent performances, but we've really been lacking in quality. On the evidence of Tuesday night's showing this team has about as much cutting edge as a rusty spoon and it will be up to Yates to change this.

If he can find a way to get the best from the likes of Byron Harrison and Jermaine McGlashan, then there is no reason why we can't threaten teams. The big trouble this season has been combining the best aspects of our attack and defence. At the start of the campaign we couldn't stop scoring but had a very leaky back line. Now we've tightened up at the back but goals at the right end are deserting us.  A positive result against Wycombe on Saturday is crucial in my eyes. They are also stuck in a bad run of form and like us are yet to record a win this calendar year. With Gareth Ainsworth's side hovering just above the drop zone – only five points behind us – a defeat is unthinkable.

What the players really need at the moment is support. It's easy for us to harp on about the 'good old days' and long for the likes of a Marlon Pack or a Luke Summerfield in our team. But football, like life, moves on very quickly and we need to forget about the success of the previous two years and accept that things are different now. Football at this level is not about constant success and yes we've done well over the past two years but we can't keep comparing this side to the one that got to Wembley. I believe there is some quality in the ranks and with the help of our backing the team has the quality to survive in this league comfortably. The sooner we secure mathematical safety from relegation, the sooner we can start looking up the table and the sooner we can start to look towards next season.

You can read more from this season's official blog here.

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