Mark Yates has full focus on a tough task ahead at Oxford United.Mark Yates speaking to the press ahead of the New Year's Day clash with Oxford United:
"Of course I was disappointed not to have played on Saturday but I had spoken to Terry Roberts [groundsman] in the morning and it was okay at 8am but the weather after that was torrential and he did everything in his power to get the game on and that is all I ask for. We were keen to play the game off the back of a 4-0 home win but sometimes you have to accept what happens. We had a good training session and I managed to get to a game, it's one of those things you need to take on a chin.
"Oxford are on a good run of form. They are 9 games unbeaten with 5 wins and 4 draws and he [Chris Wilder] has a settled side playing good football. Good players, good manager and it's a tough place to go.
"I consider Oxford to be an equal to the teams that have beaten us away from home so they have my upmost respect. We'll play in a way that we think will put us on top of our game. We haven't performed away from home bar Northampton recently and we need to address that. Whether it's the same team, or a different team, we must ensure it's better than our last away performance. The bottom line is that we haven't been good enough on the day when we have been away. It will be a great day of football at the Kassam and it should be good conditions. Two decent teams trying to play and hopefully we can go there and do ourselves justice.
"Sido [Jombati) would have played on Saturday so there will be no doubt for him tomorrow.
"Our home record is very good and we need to transfer that form into our away games but the players need to prove they are adaptable, which they are and can be. It will be a tough game and we must be ready for it.
"You must play each game on it's merits and it's a really tight division. You must win more games than you lose but we bounced back well the other day and hopefully we have shown we can address our away form.
"We'll talk to Reading about Lawson [D'Ath] and Jake [Taylor] on Wednesday/Thursday. We have one or two targets but I haven't heard too many rumours to be honest. Silly rumours seems to be the case these days but I deal with fact and we are working hard on those. I think there is a little tinkering to be done and it gives everyone a chance to reassess but I think we're in good shape and I really believe we have the potential to kick on but we can only do that with the work rate and attitude. I've had a chat with my Chairman and I don't think I've got two oranges to spend so there's no chance of me paying a fee for anybody. It will be loans or free transfers.
"You can't get transfixed with where you are in the league. You concentrate on each game. We are third, four points off the top of the league but we are also only ten points above Oxford who are 15th. It is tight and we are under no illusions about how tough the league is. We are up there and we're looking for little bit of momentum."