Yates: Cheltenham must be on their guard

PA Sport
Mark Yates
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Mark Yates

Mark Yates wants his Cheltenham side to be ready to pounce on any sign of a hangover against play-off rivals Torquay after the Devon club suffered automatic promotion heartache last weekend.

The Robins finished comfortably in sixth place in npower League Two and have been prepared for the end-of-season lottery for some time.

But their counterparts go into Sunday's first leg having held a firm grip on second spot as the campaign entered the home straight, before failing to win any of their final five matches to miss out on a top-three finish on the final day of the regular season.

Asked whether that gives his side a psychological advantage, Yates told Robins Player on the club's official website: "It could do, it could well do, but we can't pre-empt what they're thinking, what their thoughts are.

"We've just got to concentrate on ourselves. They put a lot of effort into last Saturday and the disappointment of that, we've got to make sure if we get the chance to press that home and get an advantage then we'll try and do that on Sunday.

"But I don't think so, they've had a little bit of play-off experience last year, they'll be ready for it."

Yates, who this week signed a new two-year contract at Whaddon Road along with assistant Neil Howarth, boasts a fully-fit squad for the encounter.

Town go into the first leg following back-to-back league wins but having failed to beat Torquay in their two meetings this term, drawing 2-2 at Plainmoor before a 1-0 home defeat in mid-February.

Ian Morris' goal that day fired Torquay up into the automatic promotion places and, at the time, extended their winning sequence to seven matches.

But that is now a distant memory for a Gulls side five games without a win and who were trailing 3-0 at half-time to relegation battlers Hereford on the final day before eventually going down 3-2.

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