By Tony Leighton
Cheltenham Town will be aiming to put pressure on their npower League 2 promotion rivals on Friday evening, when victory at Morecambe would lift them back into the top three ahead of the rest of the weekend's fixtures.
It's an important night on the road for the Robins, who are unbeaten in the league at Whaddon Road for four months but have won only once in their last seven away games, collecting just four points from the 21 available.
They have conceded four goals on three separate occasions in that disappointing run and manager Mark Yates told football-league.co.uk: "We've definitely been shipping too many goals away from home and that has to change.
"At home we've got one of the best defensive records in the division [no other team has conceded fewer goals], so it's disappointing that we've given away some soft goals in away games and suffered one or two heavy defeats.
"We'll be going to Morecambe aiming to be defensively well organised, to keep a clean sheet if we can and to nick a goal or two for a win that would give us a head start to the weekend and hopefully get us going on a decent run."
Cheltenham have yet to put together the sort of run that could hoist them firmly into the automatic promotion places, though - as the old saying goes - they can now concentrate on the league after being knocked out of the FA Cup.
A 5-1 third round defeat by Premier League high-flyers Everton last week meant that the Robins have no further interest in knock-out competitions this season, leaving Yates and his team to put all their efforts into promotion.
"It's been bitty of late," said Yates, "what with FA Cup games and postponements disrupting our league programme. But we enjoyed the cup run, and despite the scoreline against Everton we gave a decent account of ourselves.
"We've also produced some good performances in league games and now we have to aim to do that on a consistent basis for the last 20 games of the season, starting at Morecambe where we're in for a tough night."
Yates' team will be looking to complete the double after a September 2-0 home win against Morecambe, who are currently finding results hard to come by having won only one of their last six League 2 matches.
"We'll disregard Morecambe's recent results," said Yates. "They've got some good players and a good manager and so we'll have to be on our guard. If we approach the game correctly though, we can hopefully come out with the result we want."
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