Cheltenham Town video: 'Inept' display has boss Yates fuming
MARK Yates has threatened to ring the changes for next week's trip to Accrington Stanley after Cheltenham Town's 3-1 home defeat by Plymouth Argyle on Saturday.
Unbeaten at the Abbey Business Stadium in League Two for nearly a year, the ragged Robins fell three goals behind before half-time.
Matt Richards pulled one back after the break with a free-kick, but it could not disguise a poor all-round effort.
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With one point taken from a possible nine, Yates is planning to give other players a chance, with a training ground friendly arranged for tomorrow to build match sharpness.
"I am certainly not panicking yet, but I am not at all happy with that performance and nobody's place in the team is safe now," Yates said.
"We've had a settled team so far this season, injuries aside, but it will be unsettled pretty quickly if we play like that.
"The reserve game is a chance for players to put themselves into my thoughts and that performance has come out of the blue, so we have to find out why."
Yates hopes to have striker Terry Gornell back from a groin injury at Accrington, but Jamie Cureton (shoulder) remains three weeks away from a possible return.
In their absence, loan signing Steven Gillespie was thrown straight into the starting line-up against Plymouth and Yates said he was the only player who could hold his head high after the game.
"Steven was bright and lively and I was only ever going to play him for an hour because he isn't quite there in terms of match fitness yet," Yates said.
"It's now about getting him back on the training ground working, but apart from him I don't think anyone did their job, which is disappointing."
Yates offered the supporters an apology for the dismal display, admitting that his side had been bullied all over the pitch.
"I owe the supporters an apology for an inept last hour to the game," Yates said.
"We started brightly, had some chances and should have scored a couple, but after they scored we were powder-puff at best and it was not acceptable.
"We were bullied by the two forwards and central midfield players and it became too easy for them."
Yates was also concerned that his side failed to apply any genuine pressure in the second half, with Plymouth content to protect their lead as a comeback never looked likely to materialise.
"In the second half we didn't even huff and puff, which is disappointing and the players know my feelings," Yates said.
"They found out more at training yesterday and they will know more still throughout the week.
"We have no divine right to win games, whoever we are playing and after a good start we were found wanting.
"There was no response and it can't all be left down to Cureton and Gornell, it has to be down to everyone.
"I'll take the rap, but the players have to share it and we have two tough away games now, when we have to be a hell of a lot better."
Yates handed a debut to youth team striker Bobbie Dale, who joined fellow 17-year-old Zack Kotwica on the pitch in the closing minutes.
"I wouldn't be doing it if they weren't good enough," Yates said. "We were light in forward areas without two experienced boys and Bobbie has been good in training and pre-season so he deserved his chance."
■ Cheltenham have been drawn to play Plymouth at home in the first round of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, with the tie set to be played on Tuesday, September 3.