Skip to main content Skip to site footer
Club News

Yates: In The Thick Of It.

14 March 2013

Mark Yates believes anything can happen between now and the end of the season.

Mark Yates speaking to the media ahead of Saturday's match against Rotherham United.

It's now crunch time at the Abbey Business Stadium with just eight games remaining in npower League Two.

"We are looking forward to it. I asked the boys to get two wins on the bounce and unluckily we couldn't  make it a third. We wanted to be a bit higher in the league with a couple more points on the table but we are where we are. There are eight games to go and we're right in the thick of it. We've got a chance of automatic promotion but there's a chance of missing out and anything can happen. That applies to quite a lot of teams. Nothing is cut and dry for any team this season. No one really seems to want to grab an automatic promotion spot or guarantee a place in the play-off's and there's teams still fighting who believe they can do something from lower down the league. We need to keep our belief, do what we're good at and take each game as it comes. That's what we'll be trying to do.

"I've written down who everyone's got to play but I can't predict how many points people are going to get or who's going to beat who. It's a really tight league this year. All we can deal with is reality. We've got five of the top seven teams to play and we know it's going to be tough. We also know when you play sides at the bottom of the table that it's going to be tough. They are all really tough games. All you've got to worry about is your own form. On Tuesday night when we didn't have a game of course we were hoping results went for us. One or two did and one or two didn't but we're still in there fighting with eight games to go and 24 points to play for."

Last Saturday saw the Robins defeated 3-1 at the hands of Burton Albion.

"We looked at the DVD on Monday. There were one or two aspects I wanted the players to see, sometimes they need to actually see the hard evidence rather than just hear me talking about it. We've had a lot of feedback from DVD work that Jason Muphy's been doing and I think the lads realise that although we were comfortable for 21 minutes on Saturday we didn't have that cutting edge and we found ourselves two goals down in a couple of minutes. We could have done better with both goals."

Rotherham are currently level on points with Yates' side however they currently have a game in hand,

"They've got lots of good players. They play quite direct, they play decent football in the final third, they're physically strong and mobile but the bottom line is they've got some very good players. It will be a tough game for us.

"There have been some strange results in the whole league to be honest. We're a team that have lost the second least amount of games in the division but it's about what happens on the day. They've got a very good squad and they will be up there come the end of the season. It's a tough game but they all are. Whether we play them or a side at the bottom.

"They like to get the ball forward. They've got the two strikers Odejayi and Revell who back in and cause problems for you. They can handle decent balls up to them. They've got a good squad that can hurt you and we found that out at their place. We have to be mindful of that but we have to be ourselves and work really hard at what we're trying to do. 

"We have to make sure we can compete and if we find ourselves a goal behind we'll have to make sure we don't chase it like we did against Burton and find we're then two and three goals behind. We have to stay in games. We will always get periods where we'll get chances in games. I felt we tried to get back into the game on Saturday too quickly. We conceded silly goals at silly times that knocked the stuffing out of us. No matter how many chance we created second half none of them really mattered because three goals was probably too much for us to come back from. 

"The one thing we talked about on Saturday at half time was that if we were 2-0 down with 80 minutes played then we were still in the game. At 3-0 down then their tails were up and the scoreline looks much more flattering. There was very little between the two sides and I really believe that. They probably just had more desire to score a goal than we did. We've moved on, it's going to be a tough game on Saturday we know that but every game from now to the end of the season is. It's a case of belief, ability, holding your nerve and going out and enjoying yourself and expressing yourself, working hard for each other and if we do that then we've got a great chance.

Advertisement block