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Coach Darren Morris hails progress at Cheltenham

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: February 08, 2013

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CHELTENHAM are now virtually unrecognisable from the side that started the South West One East season, says coach Darren Morris.

The Prince of Wales Stadium men lost their first nine games after ground refurbishments forced them on to the road for the opening six rounds of the campaign.

They have now won six out of their last nine fixtures to shoot up to eighth, but more importantly they have put clear distance between themselves and the relegation zone.

A 15-point breathing space means the pressure is off Cheltenham for tomorrow's trip to the side currently occupying the last remaining drop zone slot, Newbury.

Morris said he has full confidence that the team will continue to improve.

"It would be lovely to put some more daylight between ourselves and the relegation zone," he said.

"I have full confidence in the squad that we have got together now.

"You see things in training like the technical aspects of the game plus team cohesion and game plans.

"We are a million miles away from where we were at the start of the season and that is very beneficial to everybody, especially the boys who will pull the shirt on, on Saturday and go out and play."

Former head coach Will Mbanga has recently been replaced by Chris Scott and the transition period appears to have been seamless so far.

Cheltenham have won three out of their past four matches, with only a narrow 12-5 defeat to county rivals Coney Hill interrupting their winning sequence.

Morris has put their renaissance down to the quality of their training with a number of players turning out for sessions to improve standards and competition for places.

"It is all about belief and believing that you can achieve the result and everything that goes with it," he added.

"To start getting the results now is fantastic because the boys have been great at training even when we had all of the bad weather conditions.

"We still had plenty of boys out at training and lots of good numbers and that has been holding us in good stead going forwards."

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