Cheltenham Town: Sido Jombati up for a fight for selection
SIDO Jombati is ready to battle to keep his place in Cheltenham Town's team, in either full-back role.
Last season's player of the year was rested for last Saturday's defeat at Dagenham and Redbridge, but he returned at left-back ahead of Billy Jones in Tuesday's 2-1 win at Southend United.
It was a sweet victory for the Portuguese, who was sent off early in Cheltenham's 4-0 defeat at Roots Hall last season.
Yates was keen to give set piece specialist Jones a breather, having started the first 34 matches of the season and then picked up a thigh injury.
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Right-back Keith Lowe has been performing particularly well in recent weeks, presenting boss Mark Yates with a selection dilemma.
Having battled back from double hernia surgery in November, the right-footed Jombati described himself as "99 per cent fit" and wants to retain his place for the remaining 14 matches as Cheltenham bid to hold onto their top three place.
"It's good for the club to have this competition because everyone knows the way Billy Jones can deliver the ball and he is calm with a good touch and never gets nervous," Jombati said.
"Everyone knows Keith is a threat in both boxes and he is in good form.
"It's more difficult for me at left-back as I am not used to it and I am more comfortable at right-back, but I am getting used to it and I will try to do it."
Jombati believes he has learned a valuable lesson from his Southend red card, which was given for a mistimed challenge.
"Last season was a nightmare at Southend because I was sent off after 20 minutes," he said.
"This year we went there and dominated the game. We conceded at the end and we need to look at that and concentrate more, but I have learned a lot.
"I think my timing is better now and I am not rushing in, knowing when I can and can't win the ball, so I think I am better because of it."
One of the players Jombati is likely to have to shackle in this afternoon's home match against Aldershot Town is Jeff Goulding, who left Cheltenham a fortnight ago.
"Jeff is another very calm player like Billy Jones and he has a good touch," Jombati said.
"He is not a quick player, but he can play as a number ten and he is a striker with technique.
"We know him well and how to stop him if he plays."
Jombati has been impressed with Reading youngster Michael Hector, who has been brought in on loan and is likely to remain a Robins player for the rest of the season.
"Michael Hector is a confident lad who comes in front of the strikers and takes the ball off them," he said.
"He is good in the air, he has pace and we need that against the sort of strikers Southend had."
â For live chat, team news, updates and reaction from this afternoon's match visit www.thisisgloucestershire.co. uk.