“We’re only down the road!” CHELTENHAM Town chairman and Malvern resident Andy Wilcox is hoping to build his club’s fan base in the local area on the back of the Robins’ FA Cup heroics against Manchester City last weekend.

Cheltenham were 10 minutes away from “the biggest cup shock ever” according to BBC presenter and pundit duo Gary Lineker and Alan Shearer, as they took a 1-0 lead into the closing stages against the Premier League leaders, before conceding three late goals to lose 1-3.

“We were so close,” he said.

“The BBC boys were saying it would have been the biggest cup shock ever and with 80 minutes to go were winning.

“Credit to the players - they put their hearts and souls into it and came so close.”

It was a bitter sweet moment for all involved with Cheltenham as the game was played behind closed doors and Wilcox thinks that had fans been in attendance, they could have got the Robins over the line.

“The place would have been absolutely bouncing, especially when we scored the opener,” he added.

“You almost think that if we’d have had the crowd, it could have been the difference.

“That’s the disappointing thing for the supporters.

“But we got some tv money and fans of Man City were fantastic towards Cheltenham Town by buying a load of online “tickets”.

But now Wilcox is keen to try and promote the club on the back of their day in the lights and has urged Malvern football lovers to give the Robins a go.

“There are probably a lot of Aston Villa, West Brom and Wolves fans from Malvern but we’re only down the road,” he said.

“Cheltenham is a great club and it’s really come on in the last three years and it would be great to grow the fan base locally.

“Trying to get a link between Malvern and Cheltenham is something we want to look at, it would be good to get something set-up.”

“The words we put into it, instead of a catastrophic season, it will instead be just a very bad one financially.

“We are worried just like everyone else is, it’s an uncertain future.

“The fans are the football club.

“The players are lucky to play but the fans are behind the team and bring in the revenue to keep it afloat.

“It’s such a tough time for sport but for clubs below the national league it must be so difficult and I really feel for them.

“Grass roots is where it all starts and without it we wouldn’t have a game.

“The sooner the fans come back the better, for everyone.