Cheltenham Town manager Gary Johnson and Harry Pell have talked up their chances of snatching a promotion place after Saturday’s 1-0 win over Crewe Alexandra in the Sky Bet League Two.
Jamie Grimes scored the only goal of the game and secured the win which puts them five points off Coventry, who occupy seventh place and the final play-off spot.
The Robins were promoted to League Two in 2015 after winning the National League and were last in League One in the 2008-09 season.
Cheltenham wore a special one-off blue kit promoting the British Lung Foundation in support of coach Ian Hutton and his fiancée Vicky Veness, who was diagnosed with lung cancer earlier this year.
— Cheltenham Town (@CTFCofficial) December 9, 2017
Pell, who starred in the Robins’ promotion season, says he feels the manager is putting similar plans into place which helped them get promoted to the Football League.
“I’m sort of seeing the familiar things being embedded into us by the gaffer,” said Pell. “We need to be there or there abouts in January.
“We’ve been given a target for when the January transfer window comes round. We know where we want to be from the play offs so that’s our aim and I’m sure he’s got one or two things up his sleeve for January.”
— Sky Bet League Two (@SkyBetLeagueTwo) December 9, 2017
What is the target?
Gary Johnson was keeping the target to himself but continually mentioned the play offs following his side’s first league win in 49 days.
“We’ll go away today and we’ll look at the league table and we’ll say, ‘yeah we’re closer to our target,’” he revealed.
Johnson managed Bristol City and Yeovil Town in League One, and says his team have a bonus ahead of a busy winter period.
“With our work rate I’m just so pleased that coming into the festive period, we’re now five points behind the play-off teams. Now we need to have a couple of wins on the trot to make sure that we get even closer.”
Cheltenham have only won one game on the road in the league this season, a statistic which the manager knows must change if the Gloucestershire club are to nudge their way into the top seven.
“If we keep winning at home then that will be good. We have had a good spell at home but we need to make our away form better.
“The nearer we are to the play offs the better it will become because they’ll have a bit more confidence. We need to get a result somewhere away, Coventry will be a great one to start with.”
“We’re now a lot closer to the play offs than we are the relegation, with the one win, and I’m hoping it will give the boys even more encouragement to push on.”
Cheltenham travel to seventh place Coventry City on Saturday where an away win, and another step towards the play offs, is on everyone’s mind; including Pell who says the side need to improve their ability to pick up points away from home.
“It definitely needs to improve if we’re going to end up where we want to be. We need to get our heads down, go a little but unnoticed and keep plugging away and hopefully pick up as many points as possible.
“We’ve got a big couple of weeks ahead before the January transfer window where we need to pick up as many points as we can. Like I said we’ve been given a target and that’s what we’ll be thinking about.”