Mark Yates looks ahead to Burton Albion this weekend following a strong performance on Tuesday against the league leaders.Mark Yates speaking to the media ahead of this weekends game:
“We’ve had a good couple of weeks, we’ve got into the group we needed to and have given a couple a breather and I think that’s vitally important. We have a small squad some of them are picking themselves and playing week in week out and playing every minute. It was important that they had a breather, the boys did a professional job against Yate and then we went down to Gillingham which everyone knew it was going to be a tough game but we coped really well. We’ve got to be in exactly the same mindset on Saturday. It’s not going to be easy, they’re not going to roll over for us as they’ve proven, they’re only 3 points behind us in the table and it might be a war of attrition it might be that we have to keep persevering and the crowd have to stick behind us because no one’s going to just come and lie just down for us unfortunately.
“We have to keep playing how we’re playing at the moment, we’re improving all the time, our performances are getting better and better and hopefully that can stand us in good stead. What I’m going to stress to my players is their performance levels have been really good and we’ve got to keep that going. We don’t want a reaction where you’ve just played the best team in the division and given them a really good game and got a good point and you don’t want to come down off that intensity we managed to play at.
“There’s definitely more to come, we can improve in a few areas, just there’s always room for improvement, always, and the players must never think there isn’t. We’ve got a good group and we’ve just got to keep doing what we’re doing.
“We have to be demanding of each other, we come in, we have a bit of fun but we work hard on the training ground at the right time. We look after players, we feel we don’t ask everything of them all the time, we manage players, and then hopefully they repay that on a Saturday and a Tuesday night and so far this season they’ve done that. I don’t mean being soft with players, I don’t mean giving people days off and stuff like that, I mean our work, we know what we’re doing two weeks in advance, even more normally. And then we know the intensity we want to get from each session, sometimes it’s a tactical session, sometimes it’s a work session and we just try. We’ve had a long journey home on Tuesday. The coach got back to Whaddon Road at nearly 2 o’clock on Tuesday night, so it was a late one and Burton probably had the same one if they travelled back last night. So, it’s about recovery and then recuperation and then making sure that come Saturday at 3 o’clock we are as ready as we possibly can be.
“I sent somebody down last night for me, I’ve seen them 3 or 4 times live this season all ready. I think Gary (Rowett) and Kevin (Summerfield) are doing a great job there. I think they’ve recruited really well and they’ve got some really good players in their squad. Calvin Zola is a massive threat for them and you’ve got to be aware of that. They’ve got other threats as well, we know that but Zola seems to be a big player for them and we’ve got to deal with it but we’ve got to play our stuff as well. It will be a big test but one we can certainly handle.
“Come Saturday Darren Carter will be ready. He came out of the game really well and I thought he was terrific in the game, his workrate, his closing down, some of his quality on the ball particularly in the first half was outstanding. And it was good to have him back.
“Obviously Lawson (D’Ath) won’t be available. We’ll have an update from him and from Reading this afternoon I think but the physios are speaking again and he won’t be available for Saturday. Apart from that we all have a clean bill of health and we can pick from the best squad we can.”