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Gaffer: Robins must start to show true ability

13 August 2018

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Manager Gary Johnson has urged his Robins to show their true ability ahead of a big week of football at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium.

Cheltenham face Colchester United in the opening round of the Carabao Cup before Carlisle arrive in Sky Bet League Two on Saturday afternoon.

And Johnson has called for a big response after back-to-back 1-0 defeats in the league.

He said: “We have to work with them and keep them going. They all have ability and we all see that in training. It’s a shame for our supporters who made that horrendous journey up there that we still haven’t seen the best of most of them.

“We have seen little bits and I thought Jacob Maddox had a fantastic second half at Tranmere, Johnny Mullins was an absolute warrior and Scott Flinders was magnificent.

“But we have to get some of the others doing a little bit more towards the ability they have.

“I know they have, but the supporters haven’t seen it yet. I hope to show it to them very soon. The lads have to show what their ‘X-factor’ is and show it in games.”

Meanwhile, Johnson has wished striker Manny Duku well with his recovery after dislocating his shoulder – but admits it is too early to know the length of time he will miss first team action.

Duku was carried off at Prenton Park after crashing over the advertising boards and will now start his road to recovery.

“He dislocated his shoulder and we waited at the hospital with him for a couple of hours on Saturday evening so it was a long old wait, but he is a team member so we wanted to wait for him,” said Johnson.

“He is fine comfort wise now and he has his painkillers. We have to see how he recovers now as it could be as early as four to five weeks, or as long as eight to 12 weeks. We will have to wait and see how it goes.

“It was a brave header at the far post and he forced a save. It’s unfortunate to lose him this early in his League career.

“The biggest thing is to keep working to try and improve the boys who are already here,” he added. “I felt in the second half on Saturday we showed more than we did in the first half.

“We left ourselves a little bit open on the break, but the boys went for it. Liam McAlinden had a chance, Alex Addai had one, Kalvin Kalala had a half chance.

“Every game you go into, especially after losing two League games, you want that feeling of winning a game and we want to show supporters the ability of the group that we think we have brought in.

“They need to come out of their shell a little bit, or actually quite a lot. I am sure they will soon and any game gives us that opportunity to improve.”

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