Appleton: 'I was pleased we showed patience'

Michael Appleton claps supporters

Michael Appleton was delighted with the resolve his side showed to come from behind to claim a late winner at home to Cheltenham Town on Tuesday evening.

“Personally for me, it’s the most satisfying victory I’ve had since I’ve been here,” he told local media.

“It was pleasing that they showed a little bit of patience, a little bit of calmness at times. I know there was an urgency from the stands to get the ball forward quick, but the problem with that is you’re coming up against a side that are used to that and can deal with that, and you don’t want to turn it into a game of ping pong.

“This is a big result for everyone. We knew that with the two cup games coming up it almost felt like it was an international situation, where if you get a positive result, now we get two free hits."

While the Addicks showed great character to eventually break down the Robins’ defence, Appleton believes his side should have had the game wrapped up before then. “We should have been out of sight at half-time, the amount of opportunities we have,” he said. “The keeper’s made some decent saves but we have to be more clinical in front of goal than what we have been tonight and certainly in that first half.”

The one negative from tonight’s game came in the form of a hamstring injury to Miles Leaburn.

“It’s high up [on his hamstring] which is a bit of a worry. It’s normally a little bit easier when it’s lower down or on the side. Possibly back end of the week he’ll have a scan and we’ll be able to give you a bit more info.”

Appleton was able to take the positive that he can now give opportunities to a host of other players, first of all Boban Tedić who replaced Leaburn this evening.

“I was delighted with Teddy. I’ve asked questions of him over the last week or so, demanding more of him,” said the gaffer. “I think I’ve got a bit of a reaction out of him today which was pleasing.”

Also potentially in line for some minutes are youngsters Micah Mbick and Patrick Casey. “We’ve got a good young kid on the bench who’s pretty tidy, and we’ve got one who scored five goals in the U21s as well, so there’s a bit of talent there,” said the boss.

“Clearly, in an ideal world you want the likes of Miles Leaburn and Chuks Aneke available at the top end of the pitch but we’re going to have to cope without them now and it’s an opportunity for those players who get the chance to do that.”

With Gillingham next up in the FA Cup, Appleton is looking forward to a clash which he hopes will send them through to a potential match-up with the country’s biggest sides.

“When you get an opportunity to play in the third round of the FA Cup against one of the top, top sides, you can’t take that lightly, and we’ll give it our best shot,” he said.

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