Cheltenham Town…the opposition view…

Resident Cheltenham Town fan Max Hobbs gives his views on all things Robins today ahead of the big meeting between his Town and our Town on Saturday afternoon. Max runs the excellent Cheltenham blog here and was also one third of our League Two Season Preview  ahead of the new campaign.

Massive thanks to Max for his thoughts…

– How was your pre-season?

In terms of results and performances it was pretty average. A 2-0 loss at Stourbridge led to some of our moronic fans to claim we are “doomed for the drop”. A 3-2 home win against Walsall was the highlight in terms of performances, however, in terms of new signings Mark Yates can claim to having a very productive summer indeed. The new signings hit the double figure mark and players with proven pedigree and hunger joined what was a fairly youthful squad that became bullied on occasions last season. Marlon Pack and Daryll Duffy were the 2 signings that pleased the CTFC fanbase the most.

– It’s been a mixed bag so far in the league, the positive win over Swindon was coupled with home defeat to Morecambe…what can we expect against the Cobblers?

The league table doesn’t lie, but if there’s a stage of the season when we can call it more irrelevant it’s now. The performances at Gillingham, and at home to Morecambe were actually decent, in particular at home to Morecambe where we played some lovely free flowing football for much of the game. Gillingham could’ve gone 1-0 either way and against Swindon we showed the grit and determination that just wasn’t there last season. We’ll need plenty of that this season, especially in this league, so we’ve shown we can mix it up so far. Despite the 3 point return, a lot of Ruby fans are pleased with the progress, hopefully the results will come.

– Now that Wes Thomas has joined Crawley, who are your main threats?

By this time last season Wes had already bagged 3 goals, and although we have no one to rival that at present Daryll Duffy will probably be the player who causes the most problems. Although he’s yet to score, he’s shown glimpses of real class on the ball, intelligent lay offs, clever runs. Most feel tt’s a matter of time before he scores his first goal. Jeff Goulding will always be there or there abouts also but with Spencer suspended expect Duffy to lead our goalscoring charge.

– Josh Low is bound to give us a torrid time on his return…how’s he doing at Whaddon Road?

I’m a massive Low fan, and on his day a lot of fans and managers alike know that Josh is capable of causing carnage with his almost nonchalent style of wing play. However, you’ll be glad to know that in all 4 games so far Low hasn’t been anything like his best. If he has one criticism it’s that he doesn’t quite get stuck in and win the headers for a man of his build and he can go missing in the more physical games. There’s more to come this season but so far he’s barely got out of first gear.

– What are your realistic expectations from this season?

I’m still happy with a season of mid table nothingness! I don’t expect much more than top half, but I don’t expect that we will be scraping for our lives (jinxed!), I genuinely believe there’s a fair few worse teams than ourselves. Anywhere between 13th and 18th I think is where you’ll find us.

– Finally, a prediction for the game?

We don’t really enjoy coming to Sixfields, not recently anyway so I’ll be boring and hope that defenses come out on top in a 0-0 draw (although if Bayo plays he’s bound to get his customary goal against us to win the match).

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