Cheltenham boss Yates wary of Northampton Town ‘bombs’

BIG THREAT - Adebayo Akinfnenwa celebrates scoring his goal in the 2-2 draw at Cheltenham last season
BIG THREAT - Adebayo Akinfnenwa celebrates scoring his goal in the 2-2 draw at Cheltenham last season

Cheltenham Town manager Mark Yates says it is vital his players deal with Ben Tozer’s long throw when they face the Cobblers at Sixfields on Saturday (ko 3pm).

And the Robins boss has highlighted Adebayo Akinfenwa - who has scored nine goals against Cheltenham in his career - as another key threat in the Town team.

Tozer’s throw has led to 11 goals for Northampton this season and has become a major feature in their attacking arsenal and Yates, who describes it as a ‘bomb’, has spent pre-match training preparing his players to deal with it

“Northampton are a big, strong side,” he said. “They will have good players on the field from the start, you have to deal with (Adebayo) Akinfenwa and you have to deal with throws coming into your box from the halfway line.

“I don’t mean throws, I mean bombs, that they score directly from.

“So we’ll have to deal with that and deal with the changes in tempo if there are a lot of set plays.

“Akinfenwa is a big part of how we play and we won’t be concentrating on him but we will have to be aware of him when we plan for the game because he’s got such a good record against us.”

Yates and Northampton manager Aidy Boothroyd are west midlands neighbours and regularly compete on the tennis court.

But there will be no comradeship for 90 minutes at Sixfields on Saturday, where Yates feels his friend will be desperate to ensure Cheltenham lose for a third straight away game.

“Aidy is a top manager and Northampton are only a few points behind us in the table,” he said.

“I think he’s had a few injuries to deal with there this season.

“I know Aidy personally, he speaks a lot of sense and I think the league is lucky to have someone with his experiences in it.

“He’s a very driven man and he’ll be desperate to beat us. We know we can be a threat with the players we’ve got and we’ve got to address the two poor performances we’ve had away from home recently.”