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Cheltenham Town video: Mark Yates is confident of snowball effect

By Gloucestershire Echo  |  Posted: January 25, 2013

Mark Yates

Mark Yates

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MARK Yates is confident that one new signing for Cheltenham Town will be followed quickly by up three others as the January transfer window nears its climax.

The deadline is midnight next Thursday and boss Yates said he is not only chasing loans, but a permanent recruit as well.

Refusing to let a broken mobile phone spoil his 43rd birthday yesterday, Yates was in upbeat mood as he closed in on his top targets, with a big striker believed to be his overriding priority.

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"I have to look at the short term to make an immediate impact.

"But I am also trying to look medium to long term and sign players on 18-month contracts," Yates said.

"We need to keep evolving and improving, I don't want to have to make hundreds of changes in the summer because we want continuity.

"There is lots going on under the surface even if it looks like I've done nothing for a few weeks – that couldn't be further from the truth and I know what I want.

"I am waiting for the first one to kick in and once one does, I will know where I am going with everything else."

One player who is unlikely to be arriving at Cheltenham is Sheffield United's Chris Porter.

Yates was linked with a move for the 29-year-old earlier this week and he has featured on shortlists.

But Yates said: "He is a good player, but not someone I can honestly say I have pursued."

Yates was also hoping to wrap up midfielder Darren Carter on an 18-month deal before tonight's home match against Rochdale. Carter's initial six-month deal expired on Wednesday. Myself and Darren's agent had our wires crossed slightly on a couple of things and I thought it was done," Yates said.

"But Darren wants to sign and I am hopeful it can be concluded."

Yates said he would be sitting down with members of his squad to discuss extensions once his January business was concluded.

"I will sit down with a few and sort out where we are going," he said.

Cheltenham's head groundsman Terry Roberts last night declared the Abbey Business Stadium pitch playable.

He was therefore far more optimistic about the chances of tonight's match against Rochdale going ahead (7.45pm).

The fixture's prospects looked bleak earlier in the week, but the thick snow has started to melt away naturally and Roberts spent yesterday clearing all the lines.

"The grass is poking through the snow now and it's only half an inch deep in a lot of places," Roberts said.

"The match can be played in my view so it's all systems go."

If the match is postponed, it is likely to be played on Tuesday with Yates demanding a massive improvement from the 4-1 defeat at Rochdale in December.

"We have to show Rochdale we are not the team that went there and got our backsides tanned," he said.

"They'll see a different side to us."

Former Robins defender Keith Hill will take charge of Rochdale for the first time since returning to Spotland to take over from John Coleman on Tuesday.

He was sacked by Championship club Barnsley in December.

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