MARK Yates admits Cheltenham Town must be “a million times better” than they were against Mansfield Town if they are to continue their impressive away form at Bristol Rovers tomorrow (1pm).
The Robins’ 11-match unbeaten run in League Two was ended by the struggling Stags, who claimed their first victory in 13 games with a 2-1 success at the Abbey Business Stadium.
Cheltenham’s home form has been patchy all season, with only 16 points taken from a possible 39.
Their recent results on the road have been altogether more impressive, with three wins and a draw from their last four trips.
Goals from Troy Brown and Jermaine McGlashan earned them a 2-0 win at Fleetwood Town on December 21 in what was their fifth away win and best all-round display of the season so far.
Yates knows they must reproduce that sort of performance if they are to win at the Memorial Stadium for the third time in succession.
“We have to go again at Bristol Rovers and we’ve been in decent form so one defeat in 12 won’t deter us from what we are trying to do, but the players know they have to be a million times better than Sunday,” Yates said.
“Our passing wasn’t quite there and we couldn’t find any real tempo or rhythm so our movement of the ball wasn’t as good as it should have been and it’s cost us getting anything from the game.
“The boys know we are not happy with the performance, but they have been excellent of late, so they have to pick themselves up quickly and I am not going to be too downbeat.”
West Bromwich Albion midfielder Kemar Roofe is expected to be recalled to Cheltenham’s starting line-up after an impressive substitute appearance against Mansfield.
It was his corner that led to Sido Jombati’s late consolation goal in the 87th minute and Yates said Roofe would have started every match of his loan spell had he not picked up an ankle injury against Hartlepool United on December 14.
That ruled him out of the Fleetwood trip and he has been on the bench for the last two games.
Defender Steve Elliott (ankle) is unlikely to be fit to face his former club tomorrow. The 35-year-old picked up the injury in training and has been forced to sit out the last three matches, with Connor Goldson deputising.
The current loan periods of Roofe, Goldson, midfielder David Noble and the as yet unused Toby Ajala all expire after Saturday’s home match against leaders Chesterfield.