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Match Previews

PREVIEW: CHELTENHAM TOWN (A)

24 April 2019

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Swindon head to Cheltenham looking to end their unwanted record of never having won at Cheltenham.

The Robins head to Whaddon Road having not picked up a single win against their League Two counterparts since they first met in 2002.

Richie Wellens’ side are all but out of the play-off picture with five points to make up on seventh, with two games to go.

The Oppo

Cheltenham are 16th in League Two – safe from relegation and with no hope of making the top half. After their early-season form, many had tipped them for a long season as part of the division’s relegation battle but Michael Duff has pulled them away from the bottom two and comfortably into lower mid-table.

The Robins have not won in April – drawing three times and losing once – that loss came on Bank Holiday Monday, a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Jim Bentley’s Morecambe.

Head-to-head

03 Mar 2009       Swindon Town v Cheltenham Town         D             2-2          League One

13 Aug 2011        Cheltenham Town v Swindon Town          L              1-0          League Two

10 Mar 2012       Swindon Town v Cheltenham Town         W            1-0          League Two

08 Nov 2014        Cheltenham Town v Swindon Town          L              5-0          FA Cup

07 Oct 2017         Cheltenham Town v Swindon Town          L              2-1          League Two

10 Mar 2018       Swindon Town v Cheltenham Town         L              0-3          League Two

22 Dec 2018        Swindon Town v Cheltenham Town         D             0-0          League Two

The Gaffer

Cheltenham’s Town most successful youth product returned to where it all began in September when he was appointed as the club’s new manager.

A central defender or right back who made over 600 career appearances, Michael Duff has progressed from life as a youngster in non-league football at Cheltenham, to a career spent playing in the Premier League for Burnley, where he earned legendary status at Turf Moor.

Duff made over 300 appearances in a lengthy stay at Cheltenham at the beginning of his career which saw him help the club gain promotion to the Football League – scoring the winning goal that sealed the Robins promotion to League football.

His stand out form in Gloucestershire caught the eye of clubs from a higher level, and in the summer of 2004 he joined Burnley and again went on to enjoy a highly regarded and lengthy spell.

It was also towards the end of his time at Cheltenham and through his time at Burnley that he gained international honours. In total he made 24 appearances for Northern Ireland – the country of his birth having been born in Belfast.

When his playing days came to an end, after helping Burnley regain promotion to the Premier League, he was appointed to the coaching staff in the Academy set-up, eventually going on to become under-23s manager.

It was a position he held until the Cheltenham role became available in the early part of the season, and he was announced as Gary Johnson’s replacement, returning to Cheltenham to take on his first managerial role in the game. Since taking the hot seat, he has guided the Robins to 16th place in the table, safe of the predicted relegation battle.


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