Michael Duff praises Cheltenham fringe players

Posted Wednesday, August 11, 2021 by PA

Michael Duff praises Cheltenham fringe players

Michael Duff praised the performances of his fringe players as Cheltenham cruised into the second round of the Carabao Cup following a 2-0 win over Bristol Rovers.

Duff named a youthful side featuring seven changes from the team that drew at Crewe on Saturday and he was rewarded with a bright yet controlled performance against Joey Barton’s side.

Callum Wright and Taylor Perry were particularly impressive but it was first-team regular Alfie May and new signing Kyle Vassell who bagged the goals in the 58th and 71st minute.

Duff said: “Like Saturday, we were organised and fit and I won’t get bored saying it because it’s been the strength of the side for two years, with little bits of quality within that as well.

“I thought we were very good value for the win, but we won’t get above our station.

“Joey’s got a big job here. He’s had to bring a lot of players in and they are still bedding in, but all we can do is play what’s in front of us and there were some really good performances within that.

“It was a young team, and quite a few people didn’t do themselves any harm.”

Barton, meanwhile, was frustrated by Rovers’ glut of injuries which has disrupted the start of their season – with new signings Brett Pitman and Aaron Collins among those ruled out.

But he accepted his side’s performance was well below par.

“We can do a lot better for sure,” he said. “We rotated the team as much as we could, but came up short.

“New players are coming in and we’re playing centre-halves at full-back through necessity.

“We’re also playing number 10’s in midfield and it’s not ideal at this moment in time.

“We created very little in the game tonight, and we must be better at making chances.”




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