CHELTENHAM CHOKERS - COTTERILL REACTION
What a surprise - Steve Cotterill bemoans bad luck ... again. Has there ever been such a bad loser?
Staying down, staying down, staying down!Martin
Cotterill rues missed chances earlier in the season
Cheltenham Town manager Steve Cotterill looked back on missed opportunities earlier in the season and blamed those for the club's near miss in the Division Three promotion race.
Talking after the 2-0 defeat at Plymouth Argyle, Cotterill explained that it was the team's performance over the whole season and not just in that crunch game that should be taken into account.
Despite the disappointment of being pipped to automatic promotion by Mansfield Town, who defeated Carlisle United 2-0 to reach third spot, Cheltenham can still look back upon easily the most successful of their three Football League campaigns to date. The possibility of promotion remains very much alive with the Robins now facing a two legged play-off semi-final against Hartlepool United with either Rochdale or Rushden & Diamonds awaiting the winners in the final. Ironically it was Hartlepool who leapfrogged Cheltenham into the final play-off place two seasons ago following the heartbreaking last day of the season defeat at Southend United.
"My initial reaction is to be very disappointed, of course," said Cotterill.
"This is the second time in three years that we have missed out on something on the final day of the season.
"But we did not miss out on promotion through today's result. Over the course of the season we have had chances to nail three points to the board and not taken them. We can look back on the games at Halifax, Macclesfield and Carlisle, for example.
"Plymouth is a very difficult place to come and get a result so we did not miss out because of today but because of things that happened earlier in the season."
The Robins were up against it right from the fourth minute when Canadian international Jason Bent put champions Plymouth in front, although Cotterill was keen to point out that his team created enough chances to make the scoreline a very different one.
But he was unable to hide the disappointment felt by everyone in the Cheltenham camp and explained that it will not be until the squad is back on the training ground and preparing for the Hartlepool challenge that those feelings can be put to bed.
"It was not an ideal start for us but we went on to create enough chances to win the game. Their goalkeeper pulled off some very good saves and we hit the crossbar as well.
"We changed the formation at half-time and that got us plenty of opportunities but not the goals we needed.
"Maybe with a bit more luck we could have pulled the goals back and it would not have been the first time we had turned around a two goal deficit.
"At this moment in time trying to lift people is not something you try to do. We will digest this result and then get back onto the training ground on Monday.
Latest | April 2002