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Gaffer: It is fine margins but we have to learn lessons

2 April 2018

Manager Gary Johnson admitted that fine margins were the difference in Cheltenham Town’s 2-1 Easter Monday defeat at Exeter City - but insisted his Robins needed to find that winning edge in tight encounters.

Captain Carl Winchester fired the Robins ahead in the 37th minute, but goals from Robbie Simpson and Jordan Storey ensured that the high-flying Grecians came back to seal all three points.

It was certainly a game of fine margins when they hit the crossbar once, we hit it once, then we hit the post through Jerell (Sellars) when it was 1-1,” said Johnson.

“I thought we did alright because they’re up for it as far as the playoffs are concerned and they showed that desire a couple of times for the two goals.

“We have got to show that sort of desire when we get up and get corners, set-plays and that sort of stuff.

“We’ve sort of had a chat about it and we aren’t a million miles away but it’s that final bit of eye of the tiger type stuff we need to get that next goal.

“We’ve been scoring goals up until last week, but they shackled Mo (Eisa) and he didn’t really get a lot today.

“We didn’t really create from midfield enough but there was an energy and they tried hard.

“If we did hang on in there then 1-1 would have been a fair result against a team that do well here.”

The Robins boss also reflected on what was a good learning experience for his younger players, coming up against a well-drilled promotion chasing side.

Johnson continued: “You have to have players that know how to go beyond the call of duty.”

“Their two headers were through people who were going to head it no matter what happens, that’s what you need.

“They got a lot of quality in the box so they had their fair share of crosses that they could get on the end of.

“I know what we need and what you’d hope is that some of our young lads improve from the experience of playing these types of teams.”

After scoring the opener, Carl Winchester was withdrawn at half-time and replaced by Harry Pell, with Johnson confirming that the skipper did suffer an injury.

“Half an hour before the goal we were asking is he okay because he kept touching his hamstring all the time,” said the Robins boss.

“He scored his goal, which was a really nice little strike but at half-time he just felt that he couldn’t go on.”

He added: “Hopefully this can be a learning experience that the lads take on ready for the next campaign.”

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