CHELTENHAM TOWN: Robins boss Michael Duff anticipates tough Newport County clash

Cheltenham Town head into tonight’s clash with Newport County off the back of a 4-1 win against Notts County, hoping to avoid a sixth straight league away defeat.

Michael Duff will be just shy of having a full squad to choose from, with Alex Addai, Nigel Atangana and Sean Long the only expected absentees.

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Michael Flynn’s County side could be bolstered by the return of Stevenage loanee Ben Kennedy, but Matty Dolan, Andrew Crofts and Fraser Franks remain sidelined.

The two sides have already faced each-other twice this season, with the Robins looking to maintain an unbeaten record against their Welsh opponents.

The first meeting between the two sides ended in a 2-1 league victory for Cheltenham, their first home win of the season.

Newport returned to the Jonny-Rocks Stadium in December, when Duff’s side progressed to the third round of the Check-a-trade Trophy on penalties following a 1-1 stalemate.

Form would favor the away team, having dropped just four points out of a possible 15, however their only away game in that time was a loss to Mansfield.

Meanwhile Newport have only picked up six points in their last five games, with one of those wins coming against relegation strugglers Notts County.

Michael Duff emphasised the importance of staying focused despite the fact he’s guided the Robins 12 points clear of the drop zone with nine games to go, insisting they’ve worked to hard to relax now.

Duff also outlined how crucial it is that his team get stuck in to the match, highlighting the tough atmosphere that Rodeny Parade presents for visiting teams.

“We need to roll our sleeves up, if we don’t turn up they can run over the top of you” he said.

“The fans want them to play like that, similar to the team they’re up ’em and at ’em, with some quality as well, but we need to be prepared to ride it out.”

A win for Cheltenham could them move up to 15th before the rest of the weekends fixtures, ensuring another big step towards safety for the Robins.

Newport would go level with 10th place Stevenage if they claim all three points tonight.

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