Cheltenham make the trip to Port Vale on Tuesday, with their eyes fixed firmly on improving in front of goal from Saturday’s goalless draw against Mansfield Town.
The Robins are third in the league but could be a place higher, if not for a goalless draw against the struggling Stags at Whaddon Road.
Manager Michael Duff, however, took positives from this: “I think that’s the fifth or sixth time in eight that teams have changed their formation to play against us.
“It was a 1-0 type of game, it was really tight either way.”Embed from Getty Images
Striker Andy Williams followed up on this, admitting that the impromptu changes in tactics are flattering for the players.
“It’s a massive amount of respect when you come up against a team that change their ways to combat you,” he said.
“It’s up to us now to deal with scenarios like at the weekend when teams bank up against us and we’ve got to break them down.
“It’s the first game we haven’t scored in…you’ve got to take into consideration the weather conditions, we did really well to stay on top.”
They now have a chance to improve going forward for the trip to Staffordshire on Tuesday, though neither Duff nor Williams are expecting an easy game. The former described Cheltenham’s matches against the Valiants last term as two tightly contested draws.
“They’ve definitely got an identity in the way they play. The front three are really attacking and the two midfielders like to bomb on and join in as well.
“At the end of last season, if it had finished, I think we’d have gone up and they’d have got in the playoffs,” he claimed also.
“It’s never easy to go to Port Vale,” Williams said. “They’ve got a big pitch there and they’ve had a great start to the season.”Embed from Getty Images
Port Vale are tenth and have claimed a respectable four clean sheets for their opening eight fixtures, though Cheltenham have six to their name and a tight fixture is in prospect.
“We’ll be expecting a tough game, but hopefully we can continue our good bit of form.”
That’s, in fact, an understatement for the side, as one loss in five has the Robins sat in the promotion places of League Two and looking strong – as they travel North in an attempt to extend their five-game unbeaten run against the Valiants in the league.
Kick-off at Vale Park on Tuesday is 7pm.