Cheltenham boss Michael Duff salutes ‘brilliant’ Mattie Pollock



Posted Sunday, February 13, 2022 by PA

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff salutes ‘brilliant’ Mattie Pollock

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff heaped praise of Watford loanee Mattie Pollock after their comfortable 2-0 home win over struggling Fleetwood

As well as helping the Robins keep a clean sheet at the Jonny-Rocks Stadium, Pollock provided a superb cross to set up fellow centre-half Charlie Raglan for their second goal after Alfie May’s opener.

“I was about to absolutely batter Mattie for doing a step over and trying to put a cross in, but it shows what I know!” Duff said.

“Mattie has probably gone under the radar in terms of his performances, but he’s been brilliant since he came in.

“He doesn’t get a lot of headlines, but he’s 20 years old. Credit to him, but people forget how young he is and that’s a big position to play and Ben Tozer’s (who left for Wrexham in August) were big shoes to fill.

“He is a different type of player to Toze, but I think he’s been really good.

“It was a comfortable win for us, but Fleetwood are a dangerous team and it was only comfortable because we did every part of the game well.”

The Robins had enjoyed a morale-boosting mid-week victory over Sunderland and they dominated proceedings after one early scare.

Paddy Lane thumped an effort into the side-netting for Fleetwood within a minute of kick-off, but that was about as much as the away side mustered in the first half.

Former Fleetwood player Matty Blair smashed a shot against the bar in the 17th minute after Callum Wright’s pass, but the deadlock was broken four minutes before half-time.

Elliot Bonds found the Robins’ leading scorer May and he beat Alex Cairns from 12 yards, despite the goalkeeper getting a hand to his effort.

It was May’s 14th of the season in league and cup and, less than four minutes later, Raglan was celebrating his first.

May’s corner was half-cleared to Pollock on the right and he delivered a pinpoint cross for Raglan to power a header inside the right post.

There were few signs of a fightback in the second half, with Owen Evans having to push away a header from Zak Jules in the 54th minute, but Cheltenham saw out the game comfortably and Wright nearly made it 3-0 late on, but his shot hit a post.

Fleetwood boss Stephen Crainey admitted his side were second best all over the pitch

“Since I’ve been in the job, we’ve really competed and we’ve been in a lot of games,” he said.

“Today, we weren’t at the races, we didn’t compete or show much energy in the game. That’s disappointing, but we’ll bounce back and go again.

“I picked a really attacking team and I thought we were going to get goals, but unfortunately that wasn’t the case.

“To get chances at the top end of the pitch you need to work hard behind the ball, to get the ball to the forward players and we didn’t do that well enough today.

“The effort and application were there and it always has been with this group, since day one. We were just a yard short in every department.”

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