Mark Yates believes the players did a commendable job despite the condition of the pitch at Underhill.Robins chief Mark Yates speaking to the media following this afternoon's 0-0 draw against Barnet.
"The weather and the pitch were always a concern. Once we got here, the lads set up and said the pitch was really heavy. You cold see that yourself. Both teams, and I, saw Barnet play on Tuesday night, both teams like to play. The lads did a commendable job just staying on their feet today. It was very tough, you couldn't move and it was pretty farcical to be fair. We stuck at it, both teams have had a few chances but it wasn't a great spectacle. It was hard enough to be out there and keep your feet.
"The ref made the decision for the game to be played and it looked alright. I wouldn't have wanted to pay to watch that and it was always my concern that we would get dragged into a battle and not play with enough quality. We started off really brightly for 20 minutes and I thought we were good. I thought we played on the front foot but then we allowed them into it a bit.
"There were chances at both ends in the second half. We've come away with a point, we're not relieved because we certainly deserved something out of the game but it was tough out there. Like I say, it was difficult to even stand up out there and try to play.
"It was tough on both sides but fortunately we're not complaining after a defeat or anything but we showed our resilience, we showed we've got a bit about us but we also like to think we can play a bit and the pitch didn't really allow us to do that. We had a few chances in the first 20 minutes and in the last 20 we certainly had a couple.
"The attitude from the lads was spot on. I've had that all season but we've just drawn one or two too many games. This is a tough place to come. I think in their last 12 games at home they've won seven, drawn four and lost just one. They beat Northampton 4-0, they beat Morecambe and they've beat some proper teams. It's a tough place to come and they've picked up a lot of points at home and unfortunately we couldn't force the ball into the back of the net.
"I thought we deserved our clean sheet, I thought we worked hard and were comfortable in the first half. Second half, we really went for it. I changed it around, brought on a second striker and tried to put more attacking thrust in there. If we wanted to try and win the game we were always going to be a little bit susceptible on the break and they did that every now and again but who knows, it could be a good point.
"We had to try and win the game and we were able to give it a go with the players we had on the bench. We tried to win it. Well done to the supporters for making the trip down here in atrocious conditions and when clapping the players off at the end, they were superb.
"Russ Penn took a knock in the first half, I think he's got a dead leg. I don't think it's going to be too bad.
"We gave ourselves the chance of going above Port Vale now on Friday. That has to be our aim, we know they're a good side, we know what they are about and I'm sure they know what we're about. That's taken a lot out of the players today but we'll be alright for Friday."