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Let's put play-off push back on track now - Mark Yates

13 November 2014

Mark Yates has called for Cheltenham Town to maintain the high standards they set in their 5-0 FA Cup first round win over Swindon Town as they visit Stevenage on Saturday.

“We have to be professional and we have to try and win our next game, which is a tough one at Stevenage,” Yates said.

“We’ll be trying to replicate what we did against Swindon last week and the mood has been great around the place. 

“Training has been good, but we don’t get carried away after a good result.  We want to get three points to keep close to the play-off pack now.

“We want to push on and be in the top half and I wouldn’t be doing my job if we settled for being where we are in the table (13th), so we have to put some results together and get to where we think we can be.

“The players have to demand more of each other and I expect them to do so.”

Cheltenham’s last League Two game resulted in a 1-0 home defeat by York City.

“That performance wasn’t where it should have been in terms of how we went about it,” Yates said.

“We probably worked harder against York, but we were far cleverer against Swindon and we have to fathom out how to get the best out of every individual and as a unit.

“We have to try to cover everything, but also make sure the lads have clear minds to go and express themselves.

“It won’t result in a 5-0 win every week and things went our way on Saturday. Swindon will think they conceded some poor goals and the sending off helped us too, but we made our own luck and we have to do that week in week out.

“We want to try and get toward the play-off places and stay there all season, kicking on from January. We want to be in amongst in, rather than having points to make up later on. The sooner we get there the better.”

Yates is hopeful that an outstanding display in the FA Cup can spur Cheltenham on in the league as they bid to push their way back into the top seven.

“I am hoping the FA Cup can kickstart the league form,” he said. “When the draw was made against Swindon, not many expected us to get a result, but we did and we’ll have to be professional against Dover in the next round.

“In the meantime, it’s important we try to pick up as many points as we can now, there is so little in this league, it’s about who turns up on and day and who can be more consistent.”

Left wing-back Craig Braham-Barrett will miss the match through suspension after picking up five yellow cards.

Skipper Matt Taylor (hamstring) has a chance of training next week and could be involved in the home match against Wycombe Wanderers on November 22.

Midfielder Asa Hall remains 10 days away from a return to training on grass as he makes his recovery from a torn calf muscle.

Cheltenham were beaten 4-0 at Stevenage on their last visit (February 2011) and Yates knows it will be another tough test this time around against Graham Westley’s men.

“They are not quite the direct Stevenage side of old, but they have some big, strong players, with technically good ones too,” he said.

“They have forwards and wide players who can score goals so we have be wary of set pieces and Graham is the master of surprising you and you know you are always in for a battle.

“Players like Charlie Lee, Chris Whelpdale and Lee Barnard are as good as anything in this league.

“Graham has done well wherever he has been so we know we are in for a tough game.”

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