Cheltenham Town video: Mark Yates hits out over youngsters' agents
MARK Yates has blasted some of Cheltenham Town's youth team players who have recently acquired agents.
The Robins boss is expected to hand midfielder Joe Hanks a professional contract as a reward for his rapid progress over the past 12 months.
But Yates (inset) is disappointed that he now has to deal with the young midfielder's representative.
"We've stepped Joe up to the first-team squad this season and fast-tracked him, but now I have to deal with his agent," Yates said.
"I don't think young kids at Cheltenham should have an agent at all and now I am being told some of our first year scholars also have agents now.
"I think that's disappointing and wrong."
Meanwhile, Cheltenham have extended Manchester United defender Luke McCullough's loan spell to a second month.
The Northern Ireland youth international made his senior debut as a substitute in last Saturday's 1-1 home draw with Aldershot, a day after his 19th birthday.
He has been forced to wait for his chance due to the form of senior centre-half Steve Elliott and 20-year-old Reading loan prospect Michael Hector.
Elliott was forced off in first -alf stoppage time, allowing McCullough to join the action and he produced an impressive second-half performance.
Yates said: "We've spoken to Man United and agreed to extend it.
"Luke is a lovely kid and he showed on Saturday what a good player he is – he will get more chances over next few weeks."
Elliott is expected to have recovered from a dead leg in time to start tomorrow's match at Accrington Stanley and preserve his ever-present record in League Two this term.
Cheltenham were due to head north a midday today and train at Bury this afternoon, before spending the night in a hotel in the North West in preparation for tomorrow's match, which Yates regards as 'must-win'.
Cheltenham were held 1-1 by struggling Aldershot Town last Saturday, but Yates said their second-half performance provided him with plenty of heart.
"My belief hasn't changed today from last week because we did enough to win second half," he said.
"I can understand people's frustration and nobody was more frustrated than me that we didn't win, but there is no point worrying about what's gone on, you have to deal with what's ahead of you.
"These ones are the tough games, but we have to deal with them and win them.
"We have 13 matches left and no teams have pulled away from us.
"We will stick to our principles and work even harder."
Tomorrow's match signals the start of another busy run of fixtures, with another long trip to Fleetwood Town next Tuesday.
Cheltenham host bottom side AFC Wimbledon next Saturday before Chesterfield visit three days later.
"All our planning has been geared towards making sure the players are fresh and ready, but it's not about talking now, it's about getting out there and making it happen," Yates said.
The pitch at Accrington is in poor condition, but Yates said that was unlikely to influence his team selection.