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Gaffer: Belief will be crucial in coming weeks

9 November 2017


Gaffer: Belief will be crucial in coming weeks

9 November 2017

Manager Gary Johnson insists it is vital his Robins maintain the belief they can compete with the league's best - as they kick-off a period of crucial Sky Bet League Two fixtures.

Cheltenham welcome high-flying and free-scoring Luton Town to the LCI Rail stadium this Saturday (kick-off 3pm) before travelling to Notts County the following weekend.

Johnson acknowledges it is a tough run of fixtures for his team as they look to mount a push up the league table against experienced opposition.

But he knows belief and a real mental and physical strength will be crucial  as they look to bounce back on home soil after the recent FA Cup defeat.

"The players need to be ready because Luton, in my opinion, are a League One club now and ready," said Johnson.

"They have bought well and this will be a tough couple of games against Luton and then Notts County.

"We are going to need to be physically and mentally ready to get through these games.

"Last season we had a good couple of games against them. I know Nathan Jones well and he would have been irritated by those performances.

"We raised the bar then and we've got to do it again. We've got to believe that we can match these teams.

"We're a little bit more inexperienced that Luton," he added. "We have players who are getting to grips with the league.

"Players like Jerell Sellars have great potential, but he hasn't been in this situation before. You have Mo Eisa and Jamie Grimes who have stepped up, we have seven or eight who have not been in this situation that much.

"We hope the experiences they are having will help them compete with sides that have that experience already.

"We have to identify what will help them be mentally aware and strong every week."

Johnson is also hoping the Checkatrade Trophy victory over Newport County can be a springboard to success in the league.

"It was very important that we got a result for our mental state on Tuesday," he admitted.

"Some of the players needed that game quickly to forget the first half on Saturday. When we looked back the cup game, it was the first half that was really poor.

"It was nice to get a couple of goals early and see the game out. When you've let in a few goals the confidence does go away. It is then up to the mental toughness of the individual so snap out of it and not worry about it.

"If you have a poor game you have training to concentrate and focus. Then you have got to be ready, mentally and physically, for the next game."

Tickets for the home clash with Luton Town remain on sale NOW. Call the Ticket Office on 01242 573558 (option 1) between 10am and 3pm or click HERE to buy online.

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