Michael Duff says Cheltenham made Salford ‘look pretty ordinary’



Posted Sunday, December 13, 2020 by PA

Michael Duff says Cheltenham made Salford ‘look pretty ordinary’

Frustrated Cheltenham boss Michael Duff says his side made one of the best teams in League Two look ordinary after a goalless draw at Salford.

The two promotion hopefuls contested a stalemate that the Robins dominated at the Peninsula Stadium, with Salford ultimately hanging on to extend their unbeaten home run.

Cheltenham hit the bar in each half and the league’s second higher scorers had to settle for a point that Duff believes should have been three.

“There is a tinge of frustration but I am delighted with the performance,” he said.

“I tell the players all the time you worry about the performance and I will worry about the result.

“They can’t do anything else, but the ball just hasn’t gone in. It was one of those days, we hit the crossbar twice and had one cleared off the line.”

Duff tipped Salford for promotion a the start of the year and believes the Ammies will respond to a frustrating afternoon.

“They are one of the best teams in the league. I said that at the start of the season that they will get promoted. And I think at times we made them look pretty ordinary today.

“They had to change shape which tells you everything. I am delighted with our performance and thought there were lots of good performances within it.

“Off the back of last week against Exeter it shows the level that we are trying to get to.

“If you give me that performance for the next 29 games I will take that. We wanted to win that game but we didn’t have to.

“Anyone watching that would say we deserved to win the game but credit to Salford who dug in, rode their luck and came on strong at the end. It is a good point away from home.”

Salford boss Richie Wellens watched his side struggle to gain any hold on the game but called the draw one of the standout moments of his managerial career to date.

“I’m pleased with a point, it’s probably one of the best points in my managerial career,” he said.

“Only five or six of our players turned up and you rarely get anything when that happens.

“So I’m pleased with the point and pleased with the attitude to get a clean sheet but in the first half we did not turn up. We didn’t press from the front. We didn’t get in their faces and we allowed them to switch the ball, we gave away too many free-kicks and cheap throw-ins.

“I think they will be aggrieved that they haven’t won the game but our subs came on and did well and our structure and shape was better after that.”

It was summer signing Vaclav Hladky who kept Salford in the game, with one triple save in particular underlining the quality of the Czech goalkeeper.

“Our keeper did what we expect. He is an exceptional goalkeeper,” said Wellens.

“We have him to thank for the point and I just told him that whatever we are paying him, we should be paying him double. We should take that money from all the other lads who should have a whip round for him.

“We are not one of the best teams in the league. We are eighth. There are seven better than us.

“Michael Duff has had two years with his players. He has a structure. I am five weeks into the job.

“When I had 15-16 months (at Swindon) I won the league, so we need time and we need bodies.

“We have some big players out, huge players, in (Darron) Gibson, (Richie) Towell and (James) Wilson. Our options to make changes are limited.

“I changed my shape for Cheltenham. I don’t really want to do that but they made us do that.”

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