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Yates: Renewed Vigour

28 February 2013

Mark Yates believes his side will be "right up there" if they continue to play as they did against Fleetwood on Tuesday evening.

Mark Yates speaks to the media ahead of Saturday's npower League Two match against AFC Wimbledon.

Yates has shaken off the frustration of Tuesday night and has been able to take the positives from their 1-1 draw with Fleetwood.

"I woke up Wednesday morning with renewed vigour. I was getting sick of saying the same old things but I think Tuesday night has really given me my appetite back, in terms of what I think this group can do. I think we need to get back to being ourselves. I've tried to change one or two things and it hasn't been as good as I wanted it to be. I went back to something near tried and tested on Tuesday night and I thought we were excellent. I've got to learn from Tuesday. If the players are putting in the quality they showed the other night we will be right up there, that's an absolute given.

"So I tried to be more forceful, getting another body on at the top end of the pitch and playing two upfront. It hasn't always been as productive for us, sometimes you need that second man but I think with the players we have here it may have taken something away. Tuesday night's performance just told me that. 

"We've got good players but we need to pick the right team more often than not and cut out silly errors. We made one error on Tuesday night, unfortunately that cost us. If we keep working hard and keep believing in what we're doing then we will be fine. It's not as if we're getting one goal up and just stopping playing, saying that's us done. We had lots of chances against Fleetwood and their keepers made two or three really good saves. We haven't hit the target on a couple of occasions. I don't criticise players for that, we've just got to do everything a little bit better. 

"I played five midfield players and I wanted us to pass the ball. We probably passed it as good as we had done all season on a tricky surface. It wasn't the best on Tuesday night. We're going to encounter that a lot particularly at home over the next few games. We've got to be brave enough to play it because we've got the players who can do it. We have to utilise the squad we've got, we're delighted with the squad we've got and we've got to get as many points as we can as quickly as we can.

"There's not many teams in this division who have got nothing to play for. Whether you're playing someone at the top or the bottom. It's going to be tough. I watched them against Northampton and they were a strong side, they've got some good players and we know that. Since the turn of the year they've picked up some really good results. Unfortunately for themselves and a few others down there, no one's really pulled away because they've all been on a decent run of form. At the top, no one's really pulling away because no one can string three or four wins together." 

Sam Deering celebrated his 22nd birthday with a start away from home at Fleetwood.

"He was excellent, but as were the ten others around him. The challenge for Sam is to play the next 11 games, to get 23 starts under his belt for the season. If he plays as he did on Tuesday he will certainly be in my team. He's been a little bit frustrated and I've been a little bit frustrated with him. We've seen flashes of good stuff from him, I really want him to just knuckle down and show me what he's got." 

The visit of AFC Wimbledon see's the return of Alan Bennett to Whaddon Road for the first time since he left the club. 

"I'm sure we'll give him the reception he deserves. He was a big player for us, a captain for me but sometimes things change and things move on. I'm sure he'll get a good reception, he'll certainly get a warm reception from the staff and the players. When 3 o'clock comes we've got to try and hurt Wimbledon. Unfortunately that means hurting Al, he'll come here wanting to upset the apple cart to prove a point."

Michael Hector's loan deal is set to be extended and Yates' has credited his performances since joining Cheltenham Town.

"I think Michael's been outstanding. I think he cost us a goal against Dagenham but apart from that he's been outstanding. On Tuesday his performance was awesome. He's just been unlucky we've not won as many games as we should have done whilst he's been in the team." 

Steve Elliot is the only injury worry for the Robins from Tuesday night but Mark is hopeful he will be fit for Saturday.

"He's got a knock from the other night but he should be alright, he's not ruled out. If the game was today he would probably be struggling but I think he should be ok."


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