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“Clean sheets breed confidence as much as scoring goals” says Cheltenham Town top scorer Luke Varney after Port Vale winner

Cheltenham forward Luke Varney praised the performances of the defence and the attack on Saturday, as he netted the only goal against Port Vale to take his goal tally into double figures.

Varney’s tenth of the season meant Cheltenham extended the gap between them and the relegation zone to eleven points, as they recorded their fourth straight win at home for the first time since April 2013.

The Robins have kept consecutive clean sheets in their last three matches at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium and although he’s found the net in two of those three, the veteran striker stressed how important it’s been for the Robins to become solid both defensively and offensively.

Speaking after the 1-0 win on the weekend, Varney said: “It was more important to back-up Tuesday’s three points (against Cambridge United) but on a personal note.

“I’m pleased to get the goal again. It breeds confidence clean sheets as much as scoring goals so if you’re not conceding goals it gives you the platform to go on and win games and it’s working well at both ends now.”

Mansfield are the next opponents for the Robins and Varney knows the importance of rectifying their form on the road with a positive performance on Saturday against the Stags.

The reverse fixture in November saw Cheltenham lead the play-off hopefuls up until the 94th minute, before a late Tyler Walker strike earned Mansfield a point.

The Robins have failed to score in their last four matches on the road, but Varney believes the Robins can take heart from that performance as they look to pick up points against teams higher up the Sky Bet League 2 table.

“We’ve got two big games coming up so we’re going to need everyone again,” continued the in-form forward.

“Our away performances are something we’ve got to tidy up on and we go there with a lot of confidence now on the back of two clean sheets two good performances.

“But the reverse fixture…we felt like that was one of our stepping stones; then we went into the Notts County game and won. It’ll be a great battle and we’re looking forward to it.”

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