Tom Davies Interview

30th March 2022

By Jamie Cameron

Robins manager Tom Davies says the team are focused on making sure they put the disappointment of conceding late against Southampton behind them when Exeter come to the Corinium Stadium on Sunday.

Cheltenham led for almost all of the second half against the Reds, but a 91st-minute equaliser meant their advantage at the top of the division was cut to two points.

Davies says he’s determined to put it right against the Grecians: “Last weekend was a bit of an eye-opener to show that we can’t just turn up and put in fantastic performances against good sides, so we’ve got to make sure that we’re at it and doing everything we can on Sunday.

“We’ve all spoken about why last week’s performance didn’t go correctly and we want to make sure that this weekend is our best performance yet.

“Our focus is on putting in the best possible performances, and we feel that if we put in strong performances, we’ll get positive results. We want to put ourselves in the best possible position to go and get three points.”

The Exeter fixture is the Robins’ penultimate league game of the campaign, and Davies knows the challenge that the Grecians will pose.

He said: “We know that they’re a really strong side and their forwards are fantastic and have the ability to score from anywhere.

“We’ll approach Exeter in the same way that we’ve approached every other game this season. We knew that coming into the last five or six games of the season, we were going to have to play the best sides and if we we’re going to achieve our ambition of winning the league, we’d have to beat the best sides.

“That’s still the case, so we’ll keep working hard in training and off the pitch as well to give ourselves the best opportunity.”

The draw against Southampton made it 15 league games unbeaten for Cheltenham, and Davies is delighted with the way the team have come on this season.

He added: “It’s something to be proud of and I think we’ve come a really long way. The way in which the team conducts themselves and the way we approach each game is really important.

“We always make sure that we’re aware of every team’s threat, which is something that I feel we learnt from after last season.

“We sometimes went into games without as much experience and we made some naïve decisions, so that’s something we’ve been working on and the clean sheets we’ve got highlight how hard we work across the pitch. Across the board, players and staff, we’re really proud of the run we’re on.”

Despite that, the late goal at the weekend was still a tough one to take. Davies said: “Overall, we were a bit disappointed with our performance, especially first half. We didn’t really get going for a number of reasons, we didn’t play in a way that we were overly proud of.

It was disappointing to concede so late, but on reflection I think a draw was a fair result. We didn’t really deserve to go and win it with the way that we performed in the first half.

Conceding in added time has an affect on everyone. Nobody likes conceding late goals, so we’re disappointed because we’re a group of winners and we want to win every single game. We’re disappointed that we let that lead slip once we got in front.”

Another positive from the trip to Basingstoke was the return to the starting 11 for Jade Grove, who played 88 minutes. Davies was pleased to have her in the side again, adding: “It’s really good to have Jade back.

“She’s an important player with the way that she brings other people into play and we felt that it was necessary to bring her back in this week with the style that we wanted to have within the game.

“She had a good performance and having her in and around the group again is important as well. We’ve got good players in the group, but more importantly, we’ve got good people, and it’s really important at this stage of the season that we’ve got everyone fit and ready to go.”

Cheltenham Town Ladies’ two remaining league fixtures of the season see them play host to Exeter City Women (April 3) and Chesham United Ladies (April 17). For a list of results from the season so far, click here.

D2 Interactive