Mark Yates hails Cheltenham Town fans after Bristol City defeat

Mark Yates
Yates is the third longest-serving manager in the top five divisions

Manager Mark Yates praised the Cheltenham fans' positivity after their Johnstone's Paint Trophy second-round defeat by Bristol City on Wednesday.

The Robins lost 3-1 to the League One leaders in front of 3,599 supporters - their highest home crowd of the season.

"I'm really pleased with the response from the players and, more importantly, the supporters," he said.

"At the end of the game I thought we'd won because of what the fans were giving back."

Cheltenham came through the opening month of the League Two season unbeaten but have now failed to win since 30 August.

But Yates added: "Although we haven't been winning of late, every single game they've been applauding the players off the pitch and that says something about the work-rate, commitment and effort they're all putting in.

"The fans are also seeing moments of quality. We've got some good players, we've just got to get that next win and keep performing how we are."

Mark Yates and Steve Cotterill
Yates (left) played under Bristol City manager Steve Cotterill (right) during their time at Cheltenham

Bristol City were 1-0 up at half-time on Wednesday after Wes Burns' headed opener and doubled their lead after the break through Korey Smith.

Terry Gornell's first goal in a year brought Cheltenham back into the game but Smith's second made sure of City's progression.

Yates was coming up against former Cheltenham manager Steve Cotterill, who signed him as a Robins player in 1999.

And City boss Cotterill said after the game: "I hope Cheltenham carry on playing like that because if they do, with the belief they had when they got their goal, I think they'll cause teams problems.

"It's a difficult place to get a result and anyone watching that would have thought it was a good game."

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