Yates, Howarth poised for contract talks at Robins
PAUL Baker will hold talks with Cheltenham Town boss Mark Yates and assistant manager Neil Howarth over their futures on Monday, writes Jon Palmer.
The chairman is keen to tie the duo down beyond the end of this season, when their current deals expire.
Yates left Kidderminster Harriers to succeed Martin Allen as Cheltenham boss in December 2009, with his old Robins team-mate Howarth following him from Aggborough.
He is now the sixth longest serving current boss in the Premier League and Football League and has guided Cheltenham to the League Two play-offs for the past two seasons.
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The former Burnley first team coach is working towards his UEFA Pro Licence, the highest coaching qualification available, and Baker is fully aware that his stock is steadily rising.
"I am meeting Mark and Neil with a couple of other directors on Monday to discuss extending their contracts," Baker said.
"It has all been to do with finding time really because we know where we are and what both parties are looking for.
"There has been no pressure from either side, but it will be good to have a proper chat.
As well as guiding Cheltenham to successive top-seven finishes, Yates has also earned the right to take on Premier League clubs in cup competitions in each of the past three seasons.
They played Tottenham and Everton in the FA Cup third round and West Ham in this season's Capital One Cup second round.
Sam Allardyce's team edged it 2-1 at Upton Park on Tuesday night, but it was a particularly special occasion for Baker, who is a lifelong Hammer fan.
"It was just a fantastic evening all-round for me and my two children who were with me," Baker said.
"Their chairman David Gold made us feel very welcome and I had a great chat with Sir Trevor Brooking about his FA Cup final goal against Arsenal in 1980, when I was there to see it at Wembley.
"Another unexpected bonus was Alan Taylor, who scored twice in the final against Fulham in 1975, coming up and talking to me after he saw the article about me supporting West Ham in the match programme!
"I must admit I joined in with the renditions of "I'm forever blowing bubbles" before the second half, but I thought it was a fantastic performance from us (Cheltenham)."