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League Two

We are up and running - Yates

15 September 2013

Mark Yates believes Cheltenham's season is finally up and running after their 2-2 home draw with second placed Oxford.

The Robins led twice through Byron Harrison and Terry Gornell early in each half, but Oxford hit back through Dave Kitson and Johnny Mullins to maintain their unbeaten record.

But Yates felt his side 'battered' their visitors and he was heartened by the level of performance.

"We should have won without a doubt and we were much better in every department," Yates said.

"We are up and running now and our season has started now after seven games.

"Last Saturday we drew with Portsmouth with a late goal, but that just papered over cracks, but this was a proper performance and I need 39 more of them now.

"Oxford are a decent side, who are unbeaten and we battered them. If we play like that we'll be in around it, no problem at all.

"Maybe we've been a bit airy-fairy and too lightweight so far this season, but we stood up to them, set the tone early with aggression, closing down and pressing and played some good stuff too."

Oxford boss Chris Wilder declared himself happy with a point after losing skipper Jake Wright and striker James Constable to injuries in the build-up to the game.

"I have lost my voice from shouting so much and it was a tough old battle," Wilder said.

"We talked about it before the game, that Cheltenham have a good side and a good manager and that this would be hard as they are looking to kick start their season.

"They've had two good years and I am sure they were absolutely delighted when they saw the team sheet, but the guys who came in did a sterling job for us.

"It's a decent effort we've set our bar quite high, especially away from home, but three wins and a draw is a decent effort.

"James has chipped a bone in his foot and will be out for four to six weeks, while Jake has a groin problem which has required surgery to remove an abscess so they are two big blows for us.

"Deane Smalley only managed to train on Friday and it was too much of a gamble to start him off, so he was on the bench and that is three big players out, which is disappointing."

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