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VIDEO: I'm proud of my players – Paul Buckle

24 January 2015

Cheltenham Town manager Paul Buckle after the 1-1 home draw with Luton Town:

I am happy with a point today, would we have taken a point before the game? Most probably, but as the game went on certainly after taking the lead I thought it was a frantic start to the game. Luton were going towards their fans the first 20 minutes was important and we managed to go into the lead through a very good goal and it’s just a disappointment we couldn’t hold on for five or 10 minutes. But when we conceded that could have been a worrying time because Luton had their tails up, but we stood strong and I think that was the theme of the game. If you’re going to play John Still’s team and especially Luton you have to be strong and I was very proud of the players today.

It’s a good thing there’s disappointment, disappointment to concede too early, I thought we looked very solid I thought we limited Luton to open sights of our goal and maybe on another day we hold on. I’m very pleased, I thought it was a very open game and I think tactically we got it spot on, they were always going to ask a lot of questions of us today. Luton might have been thinking “this is three points” they’ve got every right to think that before the game but it was a tough game for them and we made it a very tough game for them.

We created a number of chances and at the end there Jack (Dunn) got away and I absolutely knew Steve McNulty wouldn’t let him get away because I signed McNulty and I joked with him there saying “any chance you could have let him get away and let us get a few more points?” They’ve got some very experienced players in their team, we’ve got one or two with experience and a lot of young players and I thought Zack (Kotwica) done a really good job defensively and Jake (Gray) on the other side I thought overall it was a really professional performance against a very good team.

It’s about legs. There were so many second balls when either (Mark) Tyler or Trev (Carson) kicks the ball up it’s a battle in the middle we really did compete. (Jonathan) Smith is really good at that for them they’ve got experience in (Andy) Drury and they posed problems. We stood up all over the pitch I felt we were strong and I felt like we could score another goal, so I’m very proud of the performance, we’ve still got a lot to work on and there was no doubt they were going to ask questions of us and we’ve come up with the answers.

We spoke about changes throughout the second half. The game was in such fine balance that I didn’t feel like anyone was letting us down, defensively there was a big job from Jake and Zack on either side because Luton play a lot of forward balls. I didn’t want to take someone cold off the bench and put them into that sort of pace because the game was played at quite a pace and there were a lot of physical battles going on. It was a day for men and today we showed we can be a really strong and physical side. We’ve tried to be hard to beat, hard to break down and you saw today that we were very close to winning and onto a winning run.

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