CHELTENHAM Town will have an 'increased chance' of earning promotion from League Two if Marlon Pack remains a Robin, according to boss Mark Yates.
Pack produced one of his best performances this season in Tuesday night's 2-1 success at Southend United on his first start since almost joining Swindon Town on transfer deadline day.
A move to Swindon remains a possibility, depending on the League One club's ability to bring in players again following their takeover.
Cheltenham may have the option of cashing in on Pack now, or losing him for less money in a tribunal at the end of his contract in the summer.
Yates said that promotion was all important this season, and if Pack shows the sort of form he did at Roots Hall he will be pivotal to Cheltenham's hopes.
"I want good players and we are in the here and now, trying to get to where we want to be, which is League One," Yates said.
"If we keep Marlon and it goes to a tribunal so be it, but that will be the chairman's decision.
"The board may be keen to get the money now and that's understandable.
"But my priority is winning games and having Marlon around increases our chances of doing so."
Yates said securing a place in League One would give Cheltenham more chance of persuading Pack to sign a new contract, but he already appears resigned to losing him.
"There would be a chance, but other clubs will be prepared to pay for his services and offer far more money than we can," he said.
"It's not all about money for Marlon, but if your wages can be doubled you'd be a fool not to consider it.
"Marlon is a very mature young man with a good head on his shoulders. His attitude has been spot-on and he's been working harder than ever.
"The Swindon move was a good one for him potentially, but I need to chat with the chairman because at the moment I am not thinking I am going to let the deal happen."
Yates said his players must not let their standards slip again after watching them recover from their Dagenham disaster with a wholehearted display at Southend.
"We now have to make sure we don't let ourselves down and we do it on Saturday at home to Aldershot," he said
"We didn't perform at all against Dagenham, but we performed heroically at Southend in terms of our effort.
"There was energy and desire which I normally get from them, but we are still up there and we are not a bad side."
â Former Robins striker Jeff Goulding has signed for Aldershot Town and could make his debut against Cheltenham on Saturday.