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Gary Johnson set for Cheltenham Town dugout debut

2 April 2015

Cheltenham Town will begin life under Gary Johnson when they travel to York City on Good Friday, after his appointment earlier this week.

His remit: Avoid relegation.

Like most of the ups and downs in The Football League this season, the fight to avoid the drop from Sky Bet League 2 looks set to go to the wire.

Hartlepool United have endured a torrid season and were rooted to the foot of the table for a large chunk of the campaign, but a recent revival has seen them climb out of the bottom two with the Robins replacing them in 24th.

The issue is far from cut and dried, though, with Cheltenham only two points from safety and four points behind their Good Friday opponents York.

And they visit the Minstermen with history on their side, having never lost at Bootham Crescent in six attempts.

Gary Johnson's side also appear to have, on paper, the more favourable task this weekend, too - Tranmere Rovers and Hartlepool take on teams with Play-Off ambitions in Stevenage and Newport County respectively.

Johnson is an experienced manager who will believe he has what it takes to keep Cheltenham above the dotted line, but his first games as a manager haven’t always gone to plan.

Having taken Yeovil Town out of non-league and into the 72, his first dugout debut at an already-established Football League club came at Bristol City, where they comfortably saw off Barnsley 3-0 at Ashton Gate.

That’s been as good as it’s got for Johnson in his opening games at clubs.

He took over at already-relegated Peterborough United in their 2009/10 Championship campaign, but there was to be no change of fortunes as they suffered a 2-1 reverse at the hands of Leicester City.

He also failed to make an instant impact at Northampton Town in 2011, opening his account with a 3-2 loss to Shrewsbury as the Cobblers scraped Football League survival.

His return to Yeovil Town a year later may have eventually produced astonishing results – promotion to the Championship for the first time in the club's history - but his second coming started in the worst possible manner as Sheffield United overpowered the Glovers 4-0 at Bramall Lane.

Will Johnson get off the mark at the first time of asking at the Cheltenham Town helm? Follow the Sky Bet League 2 action on Twitter this weekend via @SkyBetLeague2.

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