Cheltenham Boss Keith Downing On Tonight

Last updated : 28 January 2008 By Thetashkentterror
Keith Downing
Robins manager Keith Downing spoke to BBC Radio Gloucester after his side's 1-0 win over Carlisle at Whaddon Road, Downing suggesting that there is a great team spirit in the Town camp :

" We've just had a brief chat now, John has been very complimentary and said that I have got a good team and that I've moulded a good team. With obviously the additions of the three or four players that we've added then it has made it a better team. It's made it more competitive and what I want is to obviously keep raising the bar. They push each other and I've just said in the dressing-room that we can go on, let's not get carried away, we've got a lot of work ahead, we're still in that relegation battle but it's a team that is gaining self-belief.

" It's a team that has got some quality in it, it's got goals with Steve Gillespie and I'm delighted with the short-term of how much of an impact it's happened. Certainly though when you get a result like we've had in recent times it just gains confidence and the players belief in themselves. I've always said that positively that they are a good team and good individuals but the key is that they have got to believe it.

" The crowd are great people here, they like to watch their football, and I think there has been great support from the far side with the drum and behind the goal has always been no question. It's just trying to get everybody up to try to get us out of this predicament. I said in my programme notes that it's not just the players and the staff, it's everybody contributing to a big push to try to get this club being an established League One team. I generally believe that will happen and I've said that even in the dark periods over Christmas when there were quite a few doubters.

" I thought that (Alex) Russell was magnificent in the middle of the park, I think he gets us to play and have a calmer pass. We know about Alan Wright and we know that Scott Brown can come on and do that, we've got players, Gillespie has come alive now with (Steve) Brooker around him and Russell, there is an understanding there. I've always encouraged them to try to play, play in the right areas and try to have the courage to get the ball down.

" I thought that, particularly against their centre-halves, the more football we played around them then the more problems they had. We could have got a couple more, admittedly Carlisle put the pressure on and that's what they are, they are a very powerful strong side that load the box on numerous times. Crosses come in and shots come in but we put our bodies on the line today very bravely, everybody. "

" I look at how small our side is every week when I talk about set-plays and speak to Bob (Bloomer) about it and say that we are going to be a little bit short of height here. When you have got people like (Jerry) Gill and (Andy) Gallinagh though who spring well and jump well, you can be 5'8 or 5'9 but if you are jumping 6'0 or 6'1 then that's what they do. They are very brave players as well, they put their bodies on the line and their heads in a ruck of players.

" They are a very committed bunch of players and I keep going on about the spirit here, that's a unique thing, and now to have a bit of ability and a bit of self-belief then this club can go on. I'm not going to start talking about ridiculous targets but I just want it to become an established League One team and go on from there. I don't want it to be little old Cheltenham any more, I want it to be no surprise to beat Carlisle, why not?, we have got that self-belief now that we can go and do that.

" He (Michael D'Agostino) was terrific wasn't he, I thought that he was an outlet for us. We felt that he could give (Zigor) Aranalde a problem if we gave the ball out to him and probably the first time we did that he had a lovely trick to beat him. Also though the important thing was the calmness of the cross, we got a little bit fortunate with the ricochet but if it falls to somebody who is in a rich vein of form it's Steve Gillespie and he's finished it.

" He's a key player and he's been missing for a while, now we've got him back we've always said that he is a 15-18 goal a season man. He'll probably think about getting more and he's on target for that. We keep looking up, we don't look behind us, I'll enjoy my weekend, I'm off to scout tomorrow at Gillingham. We carry on with the work but certainly I can sit there with a smile on my face and look forward to Tuesday night.

" We've done this with the defence for three and a half years, Andy Gallinagh has been working as the back four were, we work generally on Thursday mornings and we do religiously set drills defending. You've seen us do it and these people coming into it, you talk about makeshift, they are but they are very knowledgeable about how to play it. Alan Wright has come in with his experience, Jerry (Gill) has always been there and is a terrific professional. With Shane Higgs, if they do get through that line and Shane comes and produces some good saves which he did tonight. It's a confidence with everybody and long may it continue. "