Cheltenham Town boss Wade Elliott is allowing himself to fantasise about a trip to Wembley Stadium after the Robins booked their place in the Quarter-Final of the Papa Johns Trophy.
Cheltenham cruised through the Round of 16, seeing off Chelsea Under-21s on a comfortable 4-0 score-line on home soil.
Elliott’s side opening the scoring inside the first five minutes, wrapping up the victory late on in the second period. Charlie Brown, Liam Sercombe and the Round of 32’s star man Ryan Broom all made the scoresheet for Cheltenham.
“I’m pleased to get through, first and foremost but in terms of performance, it’s nice to see us be ruthless and finish our chances off,” Elliott explained. “We’ve had games where we’ve been creating chances but probably not been clinical enough in the final third.
“To be fair to Chelsea, we scored three in the last four or five minutes which put a slightly different gloss on it, and it’s a bit harsh on them in terms of the effort they put in.”
The 44-year-old, who took the reins in the summer after spending two years at the Club in a coaching capacity, is no stranger to this particular competition.
In 2015, Elliott lifted the trophy with ex-employer Bristol City during his playing days, beating Walsall 2-0 in the Final under the famous arch, and although he isn’t getting carried away, the Robins’ head coach would relish a return to the capital.
“When training finishes, we’ll be excited to see who we pull out of the draw,” he added.
“We’ll have a little daydream, but we won’t get ahead of ourselves. Whoever we get in the next round is going to be tough, but if you can’t dream about playing a Final at Wembley, there’s not much point doing this job, is there?”
Elliott praised the competition for giving up and coming players to make a name for themselves, but also highlighted the financial benefits of the EFL Trophy in giving Clubs like Cheltenham a boost off the field.
“I saw the other side of it when I was in the Under-23s at Stoke,” he said. “It was great for the young lads and the Academy teams to play in because the Academies do a great job but it’s difficult for young players to get that sort of exposure to League football on a Tuesday night at somewhere like Cheltenham.
“It’s equally as important for a Club like us because we’ve banked about £80,000 in prize money now which is a decent percentage of our budget. At both ends of the scale, it’s an important competition.”
Elliott was speaking before the draw for the Quarter-Finals on TalkSport.
The Robins were drawn to face the winner of Salford City v Port Vale after their game was postponed due a frozen pitch.
The rearranged Round of 16 tie will take place next Tuesday.