Skipper returning to face his old team
Skipper Aaron Downes is feeling optimistic about Cheltenham’s start to the season ahead of his return to former club Torquay United on Saturday. Downes represented the Seagulls between 2012-2015, and is looking forward to a return to Plainmoor. "It’s definitely one you look forward to, going back to your old clubs. Depending on what league I’m in, I look for fixtures against my old clubs, like I used to with Bristol Rovers and Chesterfield,” he said. "Torquay is a bit of a local derby in this league, I’m looking forward to it.”
Though Downes was released, the move did not leave him with a bitter taste in his mouth, and he has been fortunate to have enjoyed a great relationship with the club in his three years there, and especially the fans. "I was released by Torquay rather than leaving for pastures new, there were no ill feelings when I left and I knew they were going through a transitional stage, as has been well documented,” Downes said.
"I’d like to think the fans appreciated the effort I put in on the pitch, I never shirked a challenge and I always gave 100% and I think they appreciated that. The fans there were always brilliant with me and supportive.”
Following the victory over Barrow last weekend, the Robins currently sit 7th in the Vanarama National League, unbeaten, with two wins and three draws. Downes is happy with how the season has started, but admits the performance against Barrow wasn’t up to standard, and was a let off. A late goal from on-loan debutant Rob Dickie gave Cheltenham all three points, after trailing 1-0 at half-time. "After the start we’ve had, so far undefeated, we feel we could have a few more points on the table. The Barrow win was a funny feeling, we were relieved but also frustrated in the changing room afterwards,” he said. "We know we didn’t perform to where we should be performing, we showed character to come from a goal down to win the game, results are the most important thing but performances will get you the results.”
Cheltenham switched to a 3-5-2 at half-time and there is every chance they could move forward with that formation following a successful period of dominating the game. Downes is comfortable in that formation and sung the praises of Dickie. "I’ve played in a 3-5-2 before at previous clubs, it’s nothing unfamiliar, I’m happy to be playing, we’ll see what happens and what the gaffer wants to go with. It looked like it worked on the day and it got us the result in the end,"
"Rob (Dickie) had a good 45 minutes and capped it off with a goal at the end.” he said.
Watch the full interview here: