Cheltenham Town: 'We must keep the Gills fire burning'
MARK Yates has told his Cheltenham Town team he expects the same intensity against Burton Albion tomorrow that they showed in their creditable draw at Gillingham.
A fired-up Robins team held the early League Two pacesetters with a fine all-round performance on Tuesday, but Yates knows it will count for little if they fail to maintain those standards against Burton at the Abbey Business Stadium.
Cheltenham have made a good start to a month that could prove pivotal in their hopes of going one step better than last season and winning promotion to League One.
After Burton, they face tricky-looking trips to Rotherham United and Chesterfield before a home match against a resurgent Barnet side complete with legendary Dutch midfielder Edgar Davids.
"We know every game is tough, but November is particularly tough and we have got to get through it," Yates said.
"It's all about trying to close the gap and stay with Gillingham and see where we go from there.
"I'll stress to the players they have to keep it going because after playing the best team in the league, we don't want to come down off that and let the intensity drop because we are at home to Burton."
Yates has also warned against any kind of complacency against Burton, who lie three points behind Cheltenham after a 2-1 success at Plymouth Argyle on Wednesday night.
"I've seen Burton play three or four times this season and (manager) Gary Rowett is doing a great job there," Yates said.
"They've recruited really well and Calvin Zola is a massive threat for them up front.
"They have other threats, but he is a big player for them and we've got to deal with him.
"It will be a big test, but one we can certainly handle.
"It might be a war of attrition and we might have to keep persevering so the crowd might have to stick with us."
Yates has no new injury worries, but loan midfielder Lawson D'Ath will once again miss out.
He is back with parent club Reading receiving treatment for a knee injury and the 19-year-old underwent a scan yesterday to reveal the extent of the damage to his knee.
Yates praised central defenders Alan Bennett and Steve Elliott for their partnership, which once again functioned so well at Gillingham.
"They have an understanding and they both bring leadership," he said. "Stevie has been magnificent and Benno's record speaks for itself.
"Some people might think their legs have gone, but Martin Allen certainly knew they hadn't after Tuesday's game when I was chatting to him.
"They stood up to everything Gillingham threw at them.
"They are getting on, but they know the time of day and they are true warriors for us.
"We have some real men in the squad and no more so than those two."
Yates was also full of praise for left-back Billy Jones.
"He's been outstanding since coming here and he's not flustered by anything," he said. "I knew he could play, but he's even better than I thought."