Cheltenham Town: Oxford graduates can kick-start Robins term
STEVE Elliott firmly believes that Cheltenham Town's midweek victory over Oxford United can kick-start their season.
The Robins put back-to-back home defeats behind them with a 2-1 success against their local rivals thanks to long-range strikes from Darren Carter and Shaun Harrad.
After some uncharacteristically weak defensive displays, Elliott said a long inquest had taken place the day before the Oxford match.
Ahead of this afternoon's game at York City, central defender Elliott is confident Cheltenham's mettle has made a welcome return.
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"It was a must-win game against Oxford and we owed it to the fans and ourselves," Elliott said.
"Southend (3-1 defeat) was not what we are about because we have been hard to beat over the past couple of seasons.
"We were going a bit soft and some of us needed to take more responsibility, but we worked on it and we needed a result and a performance against Oxford.
"It was a derby and I think we showed we are getting back to where we want to be."
Elliott, 33, resumed his partnership with Alan Bennett, who had missed the start of the League Two campaign with injury.
The experienced pair kept things right against Oxford until the 80th minute, when Bennett was adjudged to have fouled substitute James Constable.
"Alan and I struck up a good partnership last season," Elliott said.
"He's been out for a while, but he didn't show it with his performance on Tuesday.
"He was unfortunate with the penalty decision, but he slotted straight back in and it was like he'd not been away, so we were pleased with the performance.
"Harry (Hooman) started the season fantastically well and we know people can come in and do a good job, but it's important to have partnerships and understandings and that's what Alan and I have developed."
Elliott was due to make his first appearance at York City's Bootham Crescent this afternoon.
He said the squad were grateful to be able to travel north yesterday to give them the best possible chance of being fresh for the 3pm kick-off.
"It's my first trip there so I am looking forward to it," Elliott said.
"York have made a steady start and we know they are a decent team.
"They will be used to winning after promotion from the Conference last year and it's a long trip for us.
"I'd like to thank the chairman (Paul Baker) for putting us up overnight because it helps you prepare better.
"Some of the lads have kids so they would have been woken up early, but they get their rest and it's a chance for some team bonding too.
"We can have a laugh and a joke with the new lads, who all had to sing songs in keeping with the club tradition and it all helps with team spirit too."
â Follow this afternoon's match with chat, debate, team news, live updates and reaction from Jon Palmer at www.thisisgloucestershire.co.uk.