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Cheltenham Town: Christmas is cancelled for the Robins

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: December 24, 2012

ABJECT:  (l to r) Russ Penn, Darren Carter and Alan Bennett react to Rochdale's fourth goal as the Robins slump to a 4-1 defeat at Spotland

ABJECT: (l to r) Russ Penn, Darren Carter and Alan Bennett react to Rochdale's fourth goal as the Robins slump to a 4-1 defeat at Spotland

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MARK Yates stormed straight into the dressing room after Cheltenham Town's 4-1 capitulation at Rochdale and told his players: "Christmas is cancelled."

The Robins manager had planned to give them tomorrow off, but after their worst performance of the season Yates has called them in for extra training ahead of the home match against Wycombe Wanderers on Boxing Day.

A seething Yates blasted them for what he described as a "pathetic" performance at Spotland on Friday night as they shipped four goals for the third time in their last four away matches in League Two.

"It was shocking, absolutely shocking, and we got exactly what we deserved," Yates said.

"I'll back them when they play well and lose, but I am not having performances like that because we were an absolute disgrace.

"It was our worst performance of the season by a long way and at grounds like this you have to roll your sleeves up and dig in and we didn't do that. It was pathetic and totally unacceptable and Christmas is cancelled."

Yates called his squad in for extra training yesterday, but goalkeeper Scott Brown was spared the punishment after an outstanding performance.

"Browny was outstanding, but the rest have to look at themselves in the mirror," Yates said.

"He can have the day off because we could have conceded 15 if it wasn't for him and I was happy to get away with four in the end."

Cheltenham trailed 2-0 at the break and although they pulled one back through an own goal three minutes into the second half, Rochdale added two more to end a run of four straight defeats.

"The ball wasn't sticking up top, we gave it away in midfield and we defended like pansies," Yates said.

"We had warning after warning in the first half and I thought we'd ridden it out, but we were not good enough by a million miles.

"I will speak to them all at the training ground because we need to come up with the answers to go into two home fixtures. If we play like that we won't win any matches.

"We are halfway through season and overall I am relatively happy, but Friday really upset me."

After facing Wycombe, Cheltenham play John Ward's Bristol Rovers on Saturday before travelling to Oxford United on New Year's Day.

■ Around 500 remaining terrace tickets for the FA Cup third-round home tie against Everton on January 7 will go on general sale from 9am today from the Abbey Business Stadium ticket office.

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