OPINION: Five Reasons Why Cheltenham Town’s Play Off Hopes Are Well And Truly Alive

Saturday saw Cheltenham make it six games unbeaten thanks to Billy Waters’ early strike in the 1-0 win over Grimsby.

The Robins are now just four points off the play off places, and vice-captain Kyle Storer admitted after the game that he believes his team can continue their good form and push up the table to the top seven.

Our Cheltenham Town reporter Sean Watts gave us his view on Saturday’s game and where Gary Johnson’s side can go from here.

The Squad Is Almost Fully Fit

After a nightmare start to the season on the injury front for Cheltenham, as well as Storer’s lengthy ban, Gary now has a virtually full squad to choose from. Jack Munns has been very impressive in the middle of the park in recent weeks, and with Dan Holman almost ready to get back playing after a spell on the sidelines there will be plenty of competition for places up front. The most difficult decision that the Cheltenham boss will have to make this coming weekend is who to drop, because Danny Wright is almost certainly going to be back in the starting XI following his one-match suspension.

Key Players Are at The Top of Their Game

In order to be challenging at the right end of the table, a team’s key players need to be playing to the best of their ability – and that’s what is happening at Cheltenham at the moment. Whilst Aaron Downes was caught out early on by Omar Bogle, he was virtually flawless for the rest of the game and Russell Griffiths made a number of key saves to help keep Grimsby out. Billy Waters also scored again to continue his hot streak, and even though Harry Pell didn’t have his best game he certainly played a key part in the win, as you can see from the reaction by Grimsby fans on social media afterwards.

There Are Leaders On the Pitch

Is it a luck that Downes and Storer’s comebacks have coincided with Cheltenham’s good form? The captain and vice-captain are natural leaders on the pitch and when the team needed to dig in and hold onto a win against good opposition, like they did on Saturday, it’s these types of players that can help pull them through. Gary will be hoping he can keep them injury and suspension free whilst his team are playing like this.

They Have Gotten Through The Tough Games

Cheltenham’s last three matches have been against Accrington, who finished fourth last year, Crawley, who were sixth, and Grimsby who were also in the play-off places – and The Robins have come away with seven points. Saturday’s game was also made harder because the players and fans were desperate to show Paul Hurst why he shouldn’t have joined Shrewsbury, but Cheltenham got through it.

And There Are Some Winnable Games To Come

This coming weekend The Robins host Blackpool, who are only one point and two places above them, before then having to travel up to struggling Hartlepool two weeks later. In between that, Cheltenham play in the FA Cup first round at home to Crewe and play the final group game of The Checkatrade Trophy at home to Bolton. None of those games will be seen as matches that will end their unbeaten streak, though perhaps the hardest thing now will be continuing to win when they are the favourites.

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