Yates now readying Robins for play-offs
CHELTENHAM ......0 BRADFORD ..........0
MARK Yates admitted he was glad Cheltenham have avoided meeting Bradford City in the play-off semi-finals after this hard-fought stalemate.
The Robins failed to break down the Bantams, who had centre-half Andrew Davies sent off after an hour for a second booking after shoving Jermaine McGlashan.
Cheltenham will now play Northampton Town, while Bradford take on Burton in the other semifinal.
After guiding Cheltenham to the play-offs for a second successive season, Yates said: “Congratulations to Rotherham for getting automatic promotion, but we have to get up there with them now.
“The league doesn’t lie after 46 games, but we can be disappointed with this game, in terms of wanting to get third spot and it not happening for us.
“It’s now back to work and we’ll be ready to go again.We are looking forward to the play-offs and two tough legs against Northampton, which we are prepared for it.
“We have planned for it and we know what we are doing.We are on a great run at home, but it just wasn’t our day.
“Bradford are a really good side and after what they did in the League Cup this season I don’t mind not playing them in the semifinals, but Northampton have good players and a good manager too so it doesn’t really matter who you get.”
Bradford’s assistant manager Steve Parkin admitted it was important they were able to rest some tired legs ahead of their semi-final against Burton, even if Davies’ dismissal almost forced their hand.
“The most important thing for us was to give a few other players a good opportunity for a game because it’s been a very, very tough season,” he said.
“It wasn’t the prettiest game that’s ever been, on a very difficult pitch, but there were some good performances and some very committed performances, and we’re just delighted to be in the play-offs really.
“I think it’s testament to the lads’ fitness really.With ten minutes to go we certainly opened them up especially down the right hand side on certain occasions.
“We told Andrew at half-time he needed to be whiter than white in the second half, and we didn’t want to bring him off, because we wanted Rory McArdle who has played the best part of 60 games to have a breather. Obviously, he shoved the lad and it was a bit soft but you can see why he booked him.”
Cheltenham looked the more likely winners, with Steve Elliott heading wide from a good position in the 16th minute and Marlon Pack nodding against the post from Billy Jones’ corner in the 79th minute, but it was a game of very few clear chances.
FLYING HIGH: Chltenham’s Marlon Pack hits the post with a header
MY BALL: Shaun Harrad, right, and Zavon Hines tussle