19 September 2023

Wade Elliott: I believe I am the best person to take Cheltenham forward

19 September 2023

Under-fire Wade Elliott insists he is still the right man to lead Cheltenham after they hit rock bottom after a 3-0 loss at Peterborough.

Town had two players sent off as they slumped to defeat – with their wait for a first win and first goal of the season continuing.

James Olayinka saw red after just three minutes and 41 seconds for a boot to the head of Ephron Mason-Clark – a decision questioned by both Elliott and rival boss Darren Ferguson.

Aidan Keena blasted against a post as the 10 men almost snatched the lead before Posh took control, with a player who was lined up to be substituted taking on a starring role.

Harrison Burrows grabbed a 54th-minute opener before he could be replaced and then delivered a corner for Jonson Clarke-Harris to head in a second goal seven minutes later.

New captain Peter Kioso blasted his first Posh goal deep into stoppage time after troubled Town had been reduced to nine men following the dismissal of substitute Nathan Butler-Oyedeji after just 12 minutes on the pitch.

Elliott said: “This club at this level is always going to go through sticky periods.

“People might not want to hear that but it is the truth. We are always swimming against the tide.

“Do I genuinely believe I am the best person for this job, to build this club and to take it forward long-term? The answer is yes.

“I’m sure there will be people howling and not especially happy with that, but it is the way I feel and it makes it easy to keep coming to work every day and chipping away.

“I love the club and love working with this group of players. We will keep pushing and keep progressing.

“I’ll be honest…if people think someone else is going to come in, click their fingers and all of a sudden we are going to transform into a top team in this division, then I think we’re all kidding ourselves.”

Posh boss Ferguson said: “We had to be very patient when playing against 10 men and try to find the quality to break Cheltenham down.

“After speaking to the players on Monday morning and seeing the way we trained, I felt good about the game.

“The early red card changed things and also affected our flow as Ephron was off being treated for a while.

“I’ve only seen it live, but it looked soft to me at the time. If it was one of my players sent off like that I would have been very disappointed.

“I was going to take ‘H’ (Burrows) off as I felt Zak (Sturge) would give us more pace down the outside, but he scored one goal and made the other so what do I know?

“Once we got the first one, the game was pretty much done. It ended up a thoroughly deserved victory after not having a win in the last four games.”

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