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VIDEO: Paul Buckle ahead of Southend United away

9 February 2015

Cheltenham Town boss Paul Buckle was determined to focus on the positives ahead of Tuesday night’s trip to promotion chasing Southend United.

The Robins fell 3-0 down at home to Burton Albion on Saturday, but Buckle was pleased with the way his new look team finished the game as they pulled one back through Wes Burns’ debut goal to make it 3-1.

“We have to look at the positives from Saturday and we caused a good team a lot of problems in the second half and we could have scored a second goal,” Buckle said.

“We have done well against some good sides this season, so I am focusing on the positives rather than the negatives.

“The worry always, especially against a very good team, is that you can go under at 3-0 down at home, but we showed loads of fight and character and I was delighted with the way we performed at 3-0 down.

“We have to build on that now, going to a difficult place against another team going for promotion.

“Hammering players isn’t the right thing to do. I trust the players, the work rate has been there and we’ve not faltered on that.

“It’s just cutting out poor errors, being switched on for 90 minutes and I think now we have enough attacking prowess and firepower in the team to go forward and have parts of the game where we can put the opposition on the back foot.

“Even against Burton, we are not having to make save after save, we just seem to switch off and we have got to push each other along now.

“It’s a time to be strong and do our best to stay out of the bottom two, that’s what we are focusing on. We will be going for the win, as always, at Southend.

“We have been close to clean sheets in games. I think it’s about refocusing and looking ahead. We have a lot new players who we are knitting together and there are signs that we are stronger.

“Southend is a difficult game, but one we are looking forward to. We are still trying to improve things, get that clean sheet and the wins we want to keep us in the division.

“There is a freshness about the place and a win would be massive. We are trying to get a winning mentality and culture, which comes from positive results. If we do get the win I am sure we can kick on.”

Jake Gray will make the final appearance of his initial month on loan from Crystal Palace and Buckle said a decision would be made over his future after Tuesday’s game.

“I liked him when he came on against Burton and he definitely gives use something,” Buckle said.

“He can affect games in a positive manner and hopefully he can continue. We’ll make a decision after Tuesday’s game.”

Buckle said Cheltenham must do anything possible to avoid slipping into the bottom two, with 17 games remaining to pull clear of relegation trouble.

“We have to pick ourselves up, we can’t feel sorry for ourselves and we have to do everything we can to stay out of the bottom two,” he said.

“It was hard for the boys in the first half on Saturday because there was nothing in the game for 20 minutes and then they scored a very good goal.

“Wes Burns’ goal stands out, but Eliot Richards did well when he came on and they are all new to each other, so it will take time for them to function completely.

“Eliot and Mathieu (Manset) haven’t had much football, but Denny Johnstone has been playing. It’ll have done none of them any harm to get minutes under their belt.

“We want a win. I am trying to turn the ship in the right direction, which has proved difficult, but I have only just started.

“It’s a difficult time at the moment, it needs strong leadership and belief. We’ve shown enough to tell me we can go and get a win.”

Advance tickets will be on sale at Whaddon Road from 10am to 1pm on Tuesday.

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