STEVE COTTERILL REACTION
Cotterill believes Robins deserved a point
Steve Cotterill believed his team did not get all they deserved from the match at Field Mill against Mansfield Town, but praised his players despite the disappointment of a 2-1 defeat.
"I thought it should have been a draw tonight," said Cotterill.
"They had the first half and we had the second half. We didn't take our chances in the first half and unfortunately we conceded an early goal.
"But we recovered well from that disruption, deserved the goal that we got and I thought dominated the second period of the first half.
"Then in the second half Steve Book made a great save from a free-kick but it was a scrappy ball across the box for the winning goal.
"We didn't put enough pressure on the ball and their lad seemed to shin it. I thought it was going wide but then it spun into the net.
"After that we were chasing the game and waiting for something to drop for us in the box but it didn't happen.
"But the players can still hold their heads high. They have been fantastic all season and can still get their rewards."
Cotterill bemoaned the loss of key players through injury or suspension in particular leading scorer Julian Alsop.
Youngster Nathan Tyson had a great first half but found it tougher in the second. Mansfield denied him chances to run at them and cut off the supply lines from midfield, forcing Cheltenham to knock the ball longer and lose possession through not having a natural at holding the ball up like Alsop.
But he was at pains to point out that the Robins can still gain automatic promotion despite recent setbacks.
"We were without the spine of the team tonight," he said.
"Chris Banks, Lee Howells and Julian Alsop were all missing and I thought Julian in particular could have caused them a lot of problems.
"But the boys are in determined mood and we will just have to see how the table looks on Saturday night now.
"They have every right to be disappointed after putting in so much effort tonight and throughout the season.
"We have had only one midweek off in the last 10 with largely the same players and it is difficult for them to try and peak every game.
"But they have been tremendous and matters are still in our hands."
Latest | April 2002