Mark Yates speaking to the media this morning ahead of the Boxing Day clash versus Exeter City.Robins manager Mark Yates speaking to the media ahead of the Boxing Day fixtures versus Exeter City (3pm):
"We've got to keep going like we are at the moment. We're playing well and with confidence and the work rate has been phenomenal so that's got to stay the same. We're looking forward to a busy period where everybody is going to be thinking that they can pick up points and we are no different. With regards to Saturday, I didn't throw Neil out (to do press). He did a lot of work last week and sometimes it's good to hear a different voice. Neil and I sing from the same hymn sheet most of the time and he deserves to speak to the press when we have won now and again. Neil is a big part of what we do here.
"The run is good for us because we are slowly climbing the table and we're trying to get to the points haul that we want to get too but it's a funny league because anyone can beat anybody on their day. To go ten games unbeaten is a bit of an achievement in this league at this moment in time. Fleetwood are above us and they have lost 2 more games than us so it does show what a funny league it is. All we can do is concentrate on ourselves and focus on the next game but it's periods like this where we have to be mindful and have strategies. Ultimately though the longer term plan is for the short term gains of taking each day as it comes.
"Confidence is a good thing of course but it seems that anybody can beat anyone on any day so you must turn up with the right attitude, work rate, desire and commitment. That is what has got us results and we have to make sure they do exactly the same in every game until the end of the season but particularly over the next 4 games.
"We have two home games against decent and different sides. I spoke to a national radio station last week and I said that I feel we go into every game looking to win it. We didn't mean to draw in recent games because we go out to win every game and that is always our intention but obviously if you are losing in the final minutes, like we were at Southend, then you would take a draw. We need to win games and we need to keep winning games and that will never change. We have had too many draws without a doubt and five or six 2-2 draws is wrong but it's happened and we can't do anything about it apart from learn and be better. We can't worry about it and we have to make sure we turn up to Whaddon Road on Thursday with the intentions of beating Exeter and performances of late will instill belief and confidence into the players.
"We're in today and in tomorrow but I always give the boys Christmas Day off. We have a few travellers so it is important they spend time with their families. I trust them and I have asked them to look after themselves. Different managers work in different ways and I know people that are in and off but, whether it's the right way, ask me Thursday. I trust my players and I'll ask them to do a little but by themselves. Cotts (Steve Cotterill) used to do it with us and it's something that I liked. I think if you trust them and show some faith and respect then you'll get some payback. By the end of play tomorrow we will be ready.
"Steve Elliott won't be available for the Christmas period but Kemar (Roofe) is back in training today. It's not fitness levels now but concentration levels and getting them to believe in the right things.
"We are doing something right at the moment and it's a chance for us to increase our points tally ahead of Exeter. Paul Tisdale is an exceptional manager and he has a really good reputation. He has a lot of youngsters in his side who seem the be performing better away from home at the moment so we have to be mindful of that.
"We know how Paul's teams play but I couldn't tell you which formation because he likes to change that and fair play to him for that. He has shown tremendous loyalty at his club and I am sure he has had opportunities to move on. he is a good manager and everyone knows that but people talk about him and he is an example to us all. Whatever team he puts out and whatever formation they play, it will be a tough game because his teams like to play but we've done alright against them of late so hopefully that will continue."
Mark's press call will be available on Robins Player and YouTube shortly.
Cheltenham Town are 13/2 to beat Exeter 1-0 this Christmas and tempting odds of 5/1 are currently available for Jamie Cureton to score first. If you fancy a flutter this Christmas then sign up to Sky Bet using www.skybet.com/cheltenham and you can earn yourself a £5 free bet and £10 for Cheltenham Town!