The Robins suffered a 2-0 defeat to Fleetwood Town in new manager Darrell Clarke’s first game in charge at the Completely-Suzuki Stadium.
A goal in either half from Junior Quitirna and Jack Marriott condemned the hosts to another defeat as Curtis Davies was shown red in the second half for a late challenge.
“The players need all the support they can get from myself and my staff moving forward because we are a million miles off,” said Clarke post-match.
“There’s young lads out there who look a million miles away, there’s a lack of confidence, picking the wrong options and the only way you get through these things is a hell of a lot of hard work on the training pitch.
“I would love to tell the fans it will be a quick fix but it will not.”
The first opportunity of the game fell to the visitors with Ben Heneghan heading over from a corner before Bosun Lawal scooped an effort over five minutes later.
Either side of those chances, Jovan Malcolm spun his man before seeing his effort rebound back off the bottom of the upright and captain Sean Long couldn’t direct his follow up effort.
Malcolm would force Jay Lynch into a save 10 minutes later after cutting in from the right hand side and firing across goal but it was parried away.
Fleetwood soon took back control and opened the scoring through Quitirna’s free kick from the edge of the box with Luke Southwood at full stretch unable to prevent it going in.
Chances were few and far between for the rest of the half with Long’s low cross that was headed wide by Rob Street the only highlight.
The Robins came out on the front foot in the second half with a pair of Davies headers from close range forcing Lynch into a couple of saves with Street nearly getting a toe on the end of one.
However, the Robins were stopped in their tracks in the 70th minute after Davies flew into a challenge on former Cheltenham man Ryan Broom and after a short delay was given his marching orders.
Initially, one less man didn’t deter the home side with substitute Will Goodwin, after being slipped in behind by Liam Sercombe, shooting across goal but no one was on hand to add the final touch.
Five minutes later the visitors dealt the killer blow with Marriott tapping in a loose ball to hand the hosts the three points.
CHELTENHAM TOWN (3-5-2): Southwood; Bevan (Peupion 56), Davies, Freestone; Long (c), Thompson (Hammond 66), Bonds, Sercombe, Ferry (B. Williams 73); Malcolm (Goodwin 73), Street (Keena 73). Subs not used: Harris (Gk), Smith
FLEETWOOD TOWN (4-1-4-1): Lynch; Lawal, Nsiala, Heneghan (Holgate 82), Earl; Robertson; Omochere (Stockley 76), Broom, Vela, Quitirna; Marriott (Simons 86). Subs not used: McMullan (Gk), Tshimanga, Graydon, Patterson
REFEREE: S Purkiss
ATTENDANCE: 3,104 (93 from Fleetwood)