Wade Elliott: Cheltenham boss says forwards lack confidence amid goalless start

Cheltenham's forwards are "desperately short of confidence" says head coach Wade Elliott, after they failed to score for the seventh league game and are without a goal this season.

The Robins were beaten 1-0 away by League One leaders Exeter, their sixth loss this campaign.

They are now 23rd in the table and next play Peterborough away on Tuesday.

Halifax Town hold the record for the longest goalless run at the start of a season with eight games in 1990-91.

"We're set up with enough attacking players on the pitch, you can see that we do enough work on the attacking play, I think you can also see we've got forwards at the minute who are desperately short of confidence and that's something you can't magic up and give them that," Elliott told BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

"That's a tough place for them to be but they're just going to have to keep working through it and working through it, and be brave enough to keep putting themselves in areas where one is going to bounce to them and they can bobble one in."

Cheltenham lost top-scorer Alfie May to Charlton this summer, after he netted 20 and 23 goals over the past two seasons, and while three centre-forwards were brought in, all are aged 20 or 21 with two coming from academy sides.

Elliott said his team are creating chances just not capitalising on them. Against Exeter they had two shots on target.

"If I have one gripe that's the gripe at times, there are balls in the box," Elliott said.

"The number of times balls have gone in the box or we've had chances or there's some plays that are crying out for someone to get on the end of it, we have to be brave enough to keep putting themselves on the line."

'It's a results orientated business'

Elliott was promoted to head coach in June 2022 following the departure of Michael Duff said he was confident he could turn the team's performances around despite growing discontent among some fans.

"I'm not stupid, I know it's about results, ultimately it's a results orientated business," he added.

"But the work we do on a day-to-day basis, you can see it's really good, you can see the team are organised, you can see the team are working hard, you can see they're together, you're looking at loads and loads of different indicators, there's lots of indicators that speak really well of the work that we're doing."

Elliott continued: "We're losing games 1-0, the margins are so so fine. It's my job now to make sure they [players] keep a sense of perspective, make sure they see we've come away to the top of the league.

"I don't think there's a gulf, I don't think there's a chasm, they're [Exeter] buoyant at the moment, they're playing with confidence, we have to somehow get that mindset into us."