Steve Elliott says Cheltenham Town’s players must repay the fans for their tremendous backing during Saturday’s home match against Bury.
Led by caretaker boss Russell Milton and assistant Elliott, the Robins produced a far more spirited display in their 2-1 defeat by the play-off chasing Shakers.
But the crowd created a positive atmosphere, clearly showing their backing for the new managerial team, who will remain in place until the end of the season at least, helped by an experienced director of football set to be appointed next week.
“At times like this we all have to pull together,” Elliott said. “The fans have done their bit and now it’s time to do ours.
“The players were appreciative of the backing on Saturday and hopefully they can show that in their performances from now until the end of the season.”
Elliott left Cheltenham before the January transfer window closed after four-and-a-half years at the club, but he was called on to return just over a week later.
“I am delighted to come to an agreement where we all know what we are doing and now it’s all about steadying the ship,” he said.
“Me and Russ are both delighted and we want to make sure the team is right now and make sure we are up for the fight and ready to go, starting against Accrington on Friday night.
“Apart from the result on Saturday, the reaction from the fans building up to the game and the atmosphere around the ground were both fantastic.
“If we can keep that up all season I know we’ll respond as a staff and as a squad.”
Elliott said he did not want to leave the club, having enjoyed so many good times as a Robin, including two play-off appearances and FA Cup third round ties against Tottenham and Everton.
“It couldn’t have come at a worse time because the club was struggling with a lack of form and it was heartbreaking to see,” he said.
“When I got the call, there was no doubt I’d come back and I told the chairman (Paul Baker) I’d run here if I could!
“I was more than happy to come and help and hopefully we can get up the table now.”
Central defender Elliott, 36, has not played since November, sidelined by a knee injury which may require minor surgery to correct.
“I am not sure if I’ll be able to play this season and first and foremost I need to get the team right with Russ,” he said.
“I am going to see if I can get fit, but my knee keeps swelling up so it may need a clean up with minor surgery.
“We have got to make sure the players are ready, passing on as much knowledge, experience, drive, ambition and fight as we can to get out of this mess.”
Elliott welcomed the addition of a director of football, with John Ward among those being considered for the role, having led the club to promotion from League Two and their highest ever finishing position between 2003 and 2007.
“Russ and I have played a lot of games between us, but there may be times when things could take us by surprise and an older head could be the buffer between us all,” Elliott said.
“I have seen it work at Rovers with Lennie Lawrence and Paul Trollope and it won’t be someone who is going to come in and rock the boat so I am looking forward to the rest of the season now.
“Everyone has smiles on their faces and at the training ground on Monday morning we touched on Saturday’s game, that we need to learn from it and move on, but now all the focus is on Accrington.
“You find out more about yourself in times like these and this is where your character comes out, as a player and a person, we all have to stand up and be counted now.
“When we climb up the table, we’ll feel a sense of real achievement and people will know more about themselves. I know the players have got it and we’re all up for it and ready.
“Belief and confidence are massive and there is a slight lack of confidence at the moment, but we can change that with a buzz around the place and putting smiles on people’s faces.”