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In Focus: Cheltenham Town

A look at the Robins ahead of the 2017-18 campaign

19 June 2017

How did they do last season?

The Robins were back in the Football League after just a year’s absence as they won the Vanarama National League title in the 2015/16 campaign – and Gary Johnson’s men finished in 21st position in the league.

The side struggled in the first half of the season, winning one of their first 12 matches in the league, and just four in total in 2016 in the division.

A busy January saw fresh faces come into the side and form improved, with eight wins in 2017 sealing survival.

Who stood out?

Twelve goals in 41 league appearances, including the opener at home to the Reds in the side’s 2-1 win in mid-October, meant Billy Waters finished as the club’s top goalscorer. The forward joined the Robins from Crewe back in the summer of 2015 before their title winning campaign.

His form last year meant he has subsequently sealed a move to League One side Northampton Town for the upcoming 2017/18 season.

The Manager

The experienced Gary Johnson arrived at the Robins in March 2015 - his seventh managerial post, looking to prevent the Robins sliding out of the Football League.

That challenge was ultimately unsuccessful, but he revitalised the club and got them back up at the first time of asking.

Johnson is best known for his successful spell with Bristol City where he came within touching distance of guiding the side into the Premier League after taking over in League One – but the club lost to Hull City in a dramatic play-off final at Wembley.

Johnson guided Yeovil Town into the Championship soon after following spells with Peterborough United and Northampton Town, before arriving at Cheltenham in 2015.

His son Lee is now in charge at Ashton Gate having taken over early last year.

Summer moves

The club has welcomed three new faces so far with central midfield duo Kevin Dawson and Nigel Atangana arriving during this summer.

Signed after their contracts expired at Yeovil Town and Leyton Orient respectively, the pair give Johnson plenty of options in the centre of the field.

In central defence, Jamie Grimes has arrived from National League side Dover Athletic on a one-year deal, having made 48 appearances for the side last season. 

Our Previous Meetings

The Robins won 2-1 in the first game between the two teams last season, with goals from Billy Waters and Jack Munns sealed a second home win of the campaign for the side – Kaby Djalo’s goal of the season contender was in vain as the Reds couldn’t claw back the two-goal deficit.

The fixture at the Checkatrade Stadium in April on Good Friday ended all square in a 0-0 draw.

The odds

The EFL’s official betting partners Sky Bet have odds of 40/1 for Johnson’s men lifting the title, and you can get 9/1 for the side to win promotion.

Click here for a full list of prices ahead of the new season.