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Yates: Tough But Good Test

11 August 2014

Mark Yates is cautious ahead of the cup clash at Brighton but hopeful of a strong test

Cheltenham chief Mark Yates speaking to the press ahead Tuesday night's cup clash at Brighton:

Mark's full press call will be available to view on Robins Player a little later today.

"You have to be optimistic and positive for the first game of the season and I thought we were. We had a game plan and we played to our strengths. I thought in the first half we were the better team with the better chances. They perhaps edged possession but the way we pressed, got up the pitch and won the ball was excellent. In the second half, as it got on, I think the players realised what was needed and when you take the lead at a tough place then you naturally defend more compactively and I thought the players were superb. You're always nervous and wanting the team to do well but until you cross that line, particulary after Kidderminster, you just hope that the things you knew about the players you brought in come to fruition. I thought they showed lots of character and limited a decent side to very few chances.

"I don't think the weekend's result has any bearing on the Brighton game apart from the fact that the boys out there are happy and have come into work with a smile on their face which is what I want every week. Tomorrow will be a really tough game but so was Bury. Brighton will probably dominate possession but Bury did as well according to everybody up there. As long as we go there and work on what we have been doing then we'll give a good account of ourselves.

"We haven't got the biggest of squads and we'll take a look at a few today but I don't see why Matt Taylor and Steve Elliott can't go again. Matt is short of game time but the sooner we can make that up the better.

"Asa (Hall) will be 4-6 weeks probably. The diagnosis is that he has a tear in his calf so until we get a scan we won't be sure. It is a blow but a chance for someody else to step in. I said on Saturday that Joe Hanks had been waiting for his chance and even in pre-season but he took his chance well on Saturday and I'm sure he'll take it again tomorrow.

"The younger boys have been doing a weight session this morning but we're not doing a great deal today and we'll just get their legs moving. We'll head down to Brighton tomorrow lunch-time. No-one gives us a chance but it's a great opportunity for us to carry on the good work that we put in on Saturday.

"Brighton are a team who like to have possession. The new manager (Sami Hyppia) came in this summer and I saw his quotes about having possession but with end product and already he has said that Tuesday's game is a game they need to win as they lost on Saturday. We must go there and work in the same manner that we did on Saturday and if we do that then we could spring a surprise or two and that is the aim."

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