Elliott tells his mates to seize the moment
THERE is not much Steve Elliott has not encountered in more than 500 career appearances and Cheltenham Town boss Mark Yates has called on that vast experience in a bid to help the Robins cross the promotion line this season.
A series of unconvincing performances leading up to the Robins' trip to Fleetwood Town on February 26 prompted Yates to ask for senior player Elliott to air his views in the changing room before kick-off at Highbury Stadium.
Whatever Elliott said seemed to have the desired effect as Cheltenham produced one of their best displays of the season, also aided of course by Yates' return to a five-man midfield, freeing up Sam Deering to finally show his ability.
"The gaffer asked me if I wanted to say a few words and I said I would," Elliott said.
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"It was just a different voice really and coming from one of their peers.
"But I was only really telling them what they already knew and they are all big enough and have played enough games to know what it's all about.
"Some of what I said was just who to get the ball to and how to win the game and I will probably have another quiet word with the lads this week, to see how everyone is feeling.
"I am not massive on speaking in front of everyone, but I like to go around and chat.
"Chances like this don't come around too often and we need to show ruthlessness to get the job done now because we want to go all the way."
Cheltenham may have drawn 2-2 against Fleetwood, but the way they played provided much cause for optimism and it was followed by home victories over AFC Wimbledon and Chesterfield.
They were brought back down to earth at Burton Albion on Saturday, with an uncharacteristically sloppy defensive effort leading to a 3-1 defeat.
Despite the defeat, Elliott said there is strong belief in the camp that a top three spot is attainable.
"We are not pleased with how we played at Burton after starting well," Elliott said.
"The first goal knocked the stuffing out of us and it shouldn't have, but they got momentum and scored another shortly afterwards.
"Burton have the best home record in the League and there are a decent side, but we still have plenty of games to go, so we won't get too downhearted and we have to regroup and go again.
"We still have a big chance for the final push and we'll be up for it."