By Alfie Marlborough
On Tuesday evening we host Cheltenham for our first of three group stage games in the Papa John’s Trophy. In preparation for the match, we asked the 1887RedArmy on Twitter some questions. Many thanks for taking part guys!
1. Are you happy with Cheltenham’s start to the season?
Cheltenham’s start to the season has been a frustrating one to say the least. The void left by Michael Duff was always going to be a big one, so bringing someone in to replicate the success that he brought to the football club was always going to be a difficult one.
Wade Elliot has come in & has taken on the weight of heavy expectations, as have the players, to stay up and perform well this season.
If we are to look at a positive though, we have got 2 clean sheets so far this season, which when compared to our 7 from the entirety of the last league campaign is quite good going, so long may it hopefully continue.
2. What are your thoughts on the Robin’s transfer window?
Again, the answer must be frustrating. We’ve brought several players in, but for some positions you could argue we haven’t replaced/upgraded on those who’ve left.
Taylor Perry & Dan Nlundulu have been our key signings so far this season, with both arguably being our top performers in our squad.
Obviously, we’re still very early in the season so there’s plenty of time for our other signings to step up, but I do feel that our squad isn’t complete yet. We will have a very busy next week ahead before the transfer window closes, I would imagine.
3. Based on the start of the season, where do you think Cheltenham will finish at the end of the season?
My optimism is telling me that we’ll stay up, but my brain is telling me we’re going to be in for a long tough season at the current rate.
We obviously know we’re a small fish in a big pond & any Cheltenham fan would be very happy if we stay in L1.
I think it would be fair to say that we’ll be finishing anywhere from 16th – 24th this season. Relegation could be a real possibility sadly.
4. Do you expect Cheltenham to field a significantly rotated side on Tuesday Evening?
I think there will be potentially 6/7 players rotated into the team for Tuesday. It is a good chance for those who haven’t got many minutes this season to get some game time.
We have a couple of injuries at the minute as well, so it’s whether Wade Elliott is wanting to risk playing people who will be needed for Saturday at Port Vale away.
5. Following on from the last question, do you expect Cheltenham to want to go on a Cup run in the Papa John’s Trophy?
I think the club’s biggest priority will be survival in the league. So, to answer your question I fully expect us to be knocked out after the group games are completed and the club won’t mind that.
History also shows us that the club doesn’t progress further into the competition. We essentially use it for what was mentioned above, minutes for players who require them.
6. Which Cheltenham players should we watch out for on Tuesday night?
If he is to play, Dan Nlundulu.
He’s quick, powerful & good with the ball at his feet. He’s not afraid to run at defenders & so far, he’s done very well doing so, he’s a big handful for defenders to deal with.
A player who is almost guaranteed a start on Tuesday will be Will Ferry, who we signed from Southampton a few weeks ago. A Left Wing-Back who again is quite quick & can deliver a dangerous ball into the box from out wide, I fully expect him to play as he hasn’t played too much football for us so far.
7. The Dons have had a rough start to the season, but things look like they’re getting better now, where do you think the Dons will finish at the end of the season?
I was shocked to see MK Dons down with us at the bottom of the league to start with, however I knew that they would eventually kick on & start to progress back up the league, so seeing recent positive results isn’t surprising to me. MK Dons always produce good players & you see many of them progress to the Championship which is credited to the club’s recruitment. I think saying that play-offs as a minimum is a very fair shout for this season.
8. If you could have any current Dons player, who would it be?
I think any Cheltenham fan would absolutely love to have Mo Eisa back at the club. Arguably one of the best strikers we’ve had at the club (albeit only for the 1 season). However, if I was to pick someone else, I think I would go for Warren O’Hora. He looks like a fantastic player already at a good age as well. He’d really help us to fully solidify our defence.
9. Who or what made you support Cheltenham Town?
A few things really, the obvious one is family, who’ve supported Cheltenham for several years.
A second reason is the fact you can make a good day out of it. Meeting up with mates & having a social before & after the game is enjoyable & helps get the weekend to a good start. I also feel the connection to the club is stronger with it being from the town I am from. I feel much more involved than I would be at say a Premier League team 100 miles+ away from me.
10. Which Cheltenham games are you most looking forward to this season?
Our derby games with Forest Green were the first fixtures I looked for on fixture release day. Us as fans haven’t been able to attend one for a few years now due to COVID-19. Stakes & emotions will be high on the day which helps to create a good atmosphere.
Another game would be Derby County away. A big club with a big stadium, which I’m sure many fans will be able to make a good day out of. You must enjoy these sorts of games as you don’t know when the next one is coming around.
11. Thank you for participating, it really helps us understand our opponents and what to expect from them. Finally, what do you think the score will be?
It’s been a pleasure to answer the questions thanks for having me!
I think the game has got goals in it, so I’ll go for…
MK Dons 2-1 Cheltenham Town.