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Yates: JPT Is A Great Opportunity

1 September 2014

Mark Yates believes the Johnstone's Paint Trophy is an important competition for lower league teams.

Mark Yates speaking to the local media ahead of Tuesday night's Johnstone's Paint Trophy match with Oxford:

Mark's full press call can be viewed on Robins Player later today here.

"We will keep the boys ticking over because one or two have knocks but it gives me a chance to give game time to those who haven't been involved. We have a tough trip to Morecambe on Saturday but our focus is on tomorrow night. Oxford haven't got the points they would have liked but I have had good reports and I have seen them myself last week at West Brom so we know we'll have a game on our hands.

"They will be desperate for a first win so they will be strong. We have one or two knocks so it gives us a chance to allow a couple to recover and have a breather. More importantly however it's a chance to get some more first team players in action on the pitch in front of a decent crowd.

"It's a squad game and over 46 game league programme, and hopefully a few cup games as well, it's important people are ready and whoever gets a chance tomorrow then I expect them to be just as competitive. I certainly won't be weakening the side. It's a cup competition where 48 teams are vyinto play at Wembley so it's a great opportunity for lower league clubs. It is one we will take seriously but also I will definitely be giving one or two a chance.

"I thought John (Marquis) did very well on his debut. He was lively, he had a big presence up there, hit the bar, hit the post, forced the keeper into a save and hassled defenders. It was the right time to introduce him and Koby could feel a little unlucky it wasn't him but we still needed to ruffle a few feathers. Obviously Koby coming on and getting the winner was perfect for him. He has a horrible knack of scoring important goals. He has been a breath of fresh air. I spoke to Birmingham this morning about him. He is a really good kid, he doesn't moan and Birmingham understand what we're trying to do with him.

"I am pretty much done now (with transfers) apart from the keeper but that won't be happening today. We will give Matthew Gould a chance to play on Wednesday. We like what we have seen on the training ground but I don't think you can quite make up your mind about a keeper until you have seen him in a game so he has the opportunity to stake his claim. He is a free agent so we might be able to get that sorted later in the week and if not then we'll go back into the loan marker or there are plenty of free agents out there. I don't anticipate anything happening today.

"It has take us a while to get this squad together so I don't want to be fielding phone calls and I don't see that happening. We certainly won't be trying to do anything bar keeping our own players and over the next couple of weeks and months making sure we can be as strong as we can be."

Ticket prices for this fixture can be found here.

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