Cheltenham Town video: Matt Richard's warning to 'sort out' season
MATT Richards admits Cheltenham Town have no chance of mounting a promotion challenge unless they show a vast and immediate improvement.
The summer signing from Shrewsbury Town scored their only goal against Plymouth Argyle in Saturday's 3-1 defeat.
It was Cheltenham's first League Two defeat at the Abbey Business Stadium since September 15 last year, when they went down by the same scoreline to Southend United.
Gents, come in to Earl's & Co and enjoy a haircut and finish, glass of whisky and a shoeshine for £18.50
Terms: Later and earlier appointments available upon request
Contact: 01242 504887
Valid until: Tuesday, December 31 2013
Richards was one of the better performers in a poor all-round effort, but he said far more effort and application was needed across the board as Cheltenham bid to pick up their first League victory of the campaign at Accrington Stanley on Saturday.
"If we play like that we'll be nowhere near promotion this season," Richards said.
"Saturday should have been a game we approached full of confidence and wanting three points, but it seemed the complete opposite for some reason.
"The whole team didn't perform anywhere near as well as they can and it cost us."
Cheltenham capitulated after falling behind in the 17th minute, finding themselves 3-0 down at the break.
"Plymouth only had a handful of chances, scoring all of them," Richards said.
"That's clearly not good enough and we offered nowhere near enough at the other end as a team, which was also disappointing. Not enough of us turned up and we need to sort ourselves out."
Richards' 72nd minute free-kick gave the scoreline a slightly more respectable look, but he said he took no consolation from his second goal of the season.
"There was a big wall and a group of players in the middle, so I think the goalkeeper was unsighted and I managed to slot it in the other side," he said.
"But it was absolutely no consolation and everyone was angry with themselves after the game, but we'll do our best to turn it around at Accrington."
Boss Mark Yates admitted Cheltenham were bullied all over the pitch by Plymouth, who scored through Marvin Morgan, Conor Hourihane and Rommy Boco.
Richards accepted John Sheridan's men were given an easy ride.
"We barely troubled them or their goalkeeper and offered nothing," he said.
"It was a nothing game for us and nowhere near what we should be playing at. I didn't feel I was struggling personally, but I certainly don't think I played the best I can.
"They played well but we allowed them too much time all over the pitch and their front players caused us problems, particularly in the air.
"The performance isn't down to one person, it's down to everyone who played. And we will be working as hard as we can to change it.
"We have a good squad here and it was an off-day, but we have to put in more effort and I'm sure things will come good."
Cheltenham have arranged a training ground friendly against Kidderminster Harriers this morning (11.30am).
Mark Yates will use the match to top up the match fitness of players who have not featured much or at all so far this season, with trialist Callum Morris also set for another run-out.
Supporters are welcome at Seasons but there are no catering or toilet facilities.