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Yates: Time To Step Up

22 July 2013

Mark Yates talks to ahead of the Coventry friendly.

Mark Yates speaking to earlier this morning ahead of Tuesday's friendly v. Coventry (7pm kick off):

"Last week was really good and the University of Glamorgan really looked after us. The boys worked really hard and we got a good week's work into them so the fitness levels have come on well. Hopefully we saw that in the first half of the Gloucester game in particular.

"We didn't have the same impact in the second half of that game but you always expect that when you make 7-8 changes. It was a pleasing performance other than that and that's what it's all about.

"Zack Kotwica is a 17 year-old boy and we won't be putting any pressure on him. He has something and people can see that but we did the same with Joe Hanks last year when he made the step up with us. I think giving him a squad number is good for the kids and, although Joe only made one appearance last year and that might be the same for Zack, he's worth having a look at because he's a good player. He needs to get his head down because now the work really starts. We can see his potential but he needs to realise that potential and that's something we'll deal with carefully.

"The training is more speed and football at this point. Jason has been setting up short 3v3's, sprints and short stuff where we are trying to improve how players are working with and without the ball. The core and endurance stuff has all been done pretty much and it's now a case of trying to sharpen the players up so they are as ready for Burton and the rest of the season that they can be. We don't take chances with injuries as you saw with Terry Gornell at the weekend. He could have easily played but he had a good workout following the game.

"Hopefully we have one more player to come in. I think we need competition and I think we're a little short in defence which is why I brought Craig (Braham-Barrett) in. I want potentially one more defender to come in and add competition. I'm happy with that I've got but I'll be even happier once I bring in another defender to crank up the pressure. I don't want anyone to think they are an automatic pick and it's up to all of the boys to put on the pressure and get themselves into the team.

"The first three games were literally just to get people playing. We played a different system on Saturday because I wanted to see how it worked with different players and we'll probably have a different system again Tuesday night. We have the players to play different ways and we want to get the ball down and pass but sometimes you need the extra man in midfield and there will be times when we need to go a little more direct.

"Coventry will be a step up and Steven Pressley did quite well last season. It sounds like they are having a few problems off the field but that wont be a concern because they have some good players. You never want to lose any games so it's important we work hard and get something out of it but it is more about building up ready for the new season."

Watch Mark's full interview here on Robins Player.

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