What Cheltenham must do to take points off Sunderland according to Robins boss Michael Duff

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff has challenged his players to try and quiet the Sunderland crowd when they travel to the Stadium of Light.

The Robins won the League Two title last season and have adjusted well following promotion to the third tier, taking 12 points from their first nine league games.

Cheltenham were comfortably beaten 2-0 at league leaders Wigan last time out, though, and Duff is hoping for a more competitive match on Wearside.

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When asked about the prospect of facing a team like Sunderland, Duff said: “We worked incredibly hard last year to get out of the league, so it's always going to be tougher because you are playing against a better quality of opposition, but it's better for the players, playing in nicer stadiums and the pitches are better.

Cheltenham boss Michael Duff.Cheltenham boss Michael Duff.
Cheltenham boss Michael Duff.

“All the things that come with it, but all those nice things make it harder. I don't think anyone expects us to go up there and get anything out of the game, which is brilliant for us.”

“You shouldn't have to get a player up for playing in front of 30,000 people, but within the performance, we didn't do anything well on Saturday.

“We have shown them the pictures of what that looks like and what we need it to look like because if we go up there passive, hoping to get a result, we'll get murdered, which is what happened at the weekend.

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“We went up there more in hope than expectation, hoping we could get something out of the game and if you don't deliver certain aspects of it, you won't win the game and that's what happened.”

Sunderland have won all five games they’ve played at the Stadium of Light this season, yet Duff hopes his players can neutralise the home advantage.

“It's just part of it and with all that support comes expectation as well, so we need to try and quieten the crowd down if we can start well and then build ourselves into the game,” he added.

“We are in the same league as them by right, so we'll be trying our damnedest to take points off them.”

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