Cheltenham boss Mark Yates hails Steve Cotterill influence

Mark Yates and Steve Cotterill
Mark Yates (left) was captain under Steve Cotterill at Cheltenham

Cheltenham manager Mark Yates says Bristol City's Steve Cotterill has been the biggest influence on his career.

Cotterill, 50, spent six years in charge at Whaddon Road and Yates was his captain when the club won promotion to League One in 2002.

They went on to work together at Burnley, but will come up against each other in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy second round on Wednesday.

"I've got a tremendous amount of respect for Steve," said Yates, 44.

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Yates has 'respect' for Cotterill

Cotterill took charge of his hometown club in 1997 when they were in the Southern Premier Division.

He signed midfielder Yates from Kidderminster for £25,000 in 1999 and the pair went on to lift the League Two play-off trophy three years later.

After a spell in charge at Stoke, Cotterill was appointed Burnley manager and brought Yates onto his coaching staff.

Yates was named Cheltenham boss in 2009, making him now the third longest-serving manager in the top five leagues, while Cotterill has led Bristol City to the summit of League One during his year in charge at Ashton Gate.

Cotterill and Yates meet again
The last time Steve Cotterill faced Mark Yates' Cheltenham in a competitive game, Cotterill's Notts County side ran out 5-0 winners at Meadow Lane and claimed the League Two title.
Speaking about his return to Whaddon Road on Wednesday, the Bristol City boss said: "It's my hometown. Lots of people are still the same. All the people that work in the offices, on the gates, so it's always nice to go back. They're fantastic people and I'll never forget any of them."

"He plucked me out of nowhere and gave me a chance to get back in the Football League," recalls Yates to BBC Radio Gloucestershire.

"He then gave me the chance to start my coaching career at Burnley. I really enjoyed the 18 months I had up there, it was a tremendous learning curve for me.

"There's lots of things you take from different managers but Steve was probably the most influential person in my career.

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Pack 'felt loved' at Cheltenham

"You take bits and pieces - his desire to win, how meticulous he was. But I also have to be my own man and that's what I am."

Also making his return to Cheltenham on Wednesday will be midfielder Marlon Pack, who left the Robins for Bristol City in the summer of 2013.

The 23-year-old featured in two League Two play-off campaigns for the club and has fond memories of the three years he spent in Gloucestershire.

"You feel loved there," he told BBC Radio Bristol. "It being a small club helped with that.

"I loved my time there and it was mainly down to the people making me feel welcome straight away.

"Mark Yates was brilliant for me. At the time I needed to play football and he brought me in and believed in me. He gave me that foundation to step up another level."

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