These managers will get no stick

Last updated : 12 July 2005 By Tony Scholes

Quite often the opposition manager can come in for some stick from rival supporters, we all remember the incidents with Paul Jewell last season and I’m sure Steve Claridge will get an equally warm reception at Turf Moor in November.

That’s hardly likely to be the case though at Whaddon Road when the respective managers take their place on the touchline ahead of the game that is part of Michael Duff’s transfer to the Clarets last season.

The current Cheltenham manager is John Ward, formerly Adrian Heath’s assistant at Burnley, and his contribution at the Turf was such that when he departed the whole thing collapsed with the former Everton and Burnley striker seemingly not having a clue what to do.

A year later and Ward, having led Bristol City to promotion, received the most amazing standing ovation from the Turf Moor crowd and even at a reserve game a couple of years ago those in the Bob Lord Stand gave him a warm welcome.

He’ll receive something similar on Saturday but that will be nothing compared to the welcome our manager Steve Cotterill receives from the home crowd. Steve took Cheltenham Town from the Dr Marten’s League through to what is now League One in the Football League before moving on and he certainly has his own place in their Town history. It is difficult to imagine anyone being able to eclipse his achievements with his home town club.

They love him down there and that’s been reflected in the news this week that Steve has been granted honorary membership of the Cheltenham Town Supporters Trust which is launched this Saturday.

So whatever happens, it will be a day when both managers will be able to reflect on their times with the club now in opposition.