Roberts looking for first clean sheet of the season

Boro skipper relishing trip to Cheltenham

BORO captain Mark Roberts says his team is looking to keep their first clean sheet of the season when they visit Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

The 1-1 draw with Crewe Alexandra last weekend, when Boro went down to 10 men following the dismissal of Stacy Long, was the club’s seventh game this season in all competitions and they have still yet to keep the opposition from scoring.

This weekend they face the league’s joint top scorers but Cheltenham also have problems keeping clean sheets this season and have conceded more goals (13) than any other team in the league.

Speaking about the need to shut up shop, Roberts told The Comet: “We definitely want to keep our first clean sheet of the season and we’ve been working hard to make sure it happens.

“(Cheltenham’s goals for and against record) marks for an entertaining game but we’ll just be going there trying to get all three points.

“I think Crewe was a much improved performance. It was difficult going down to 10 men as once you go down to 10 men with the team they possess you’ve got to be pleased with the point.

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“We want to build on the good work we’ve done in our away performances and turn these results into wins.”

Cheltenham lost 3-1 away to Barnet last weekend and boss Mark Yates has suggested he may make some changes ahead of the visit of Stevenage, but at home the club has won both of their games this season.

Roberts knows Yates well from the manager’s Kidderminster Harries days in the Blue Square Premier and FA Trophy clashes, and believes having come across a number of the players and managers in previous years will serve his team well.

“They’ve started well,” Roberts said. “They were disappointed last week away to Barnet but they’re stronger at home.

“(Yates) is an excellent manager who, like people connected with our club, made a name in the Conference and he has done well.

“There’s always someone in the squad who has come across a player or manager who he knows or has played against before which is always important as when you go in to a new league you don’t know as much about the teams as you did the previous year.

“I think if we put our best side out we’ve got a chance.”