Yates believes fresh faces can help Reds push up the table
Mark Yates is delighted to have added more quality to his squad ahead of Saturday’s Notts County tussle at the Checkatrade.com Stadium.
Crewe midfielder Chris Atkinson signed for the Reds on a one-month loan deal yesterday and is in contention to play in this weekend's League 2 home game.
Mark said: “With Jimmy (Smith) out we felt as though we needed more energy in midfield. Chris is mobile, good on the ball, has an eye for goal and he’s competitive so he’s a great addition to the squad.
“Chris has played a fair few games this season, including a game on Monday, and looked sharp in training today.”
Smith, who has made 28 appearances for the Reds this season, suffered a broken foot in our first game of 2016 against Portsmouth and Mark admitted that it’s a blow losing him.
“I’m gutted for Jimmy because he’s been brilliant since day one, he works hard for the team, challenges for everything and he’s a leader on the pitch.”
However the manager believes that his side is still capable of pushing for at least a top-ten finish and then the play-offs.
“The plan is still to get into the play-offs, but it doesn’t matter who you play because every game is tight and the whole league is so that won't be easy by any stretch.
"But we’ve freshened the team up with some new faces, we just need to find the level of consistency needed.
“That said, if you’d offered me where we are at the start of the season then I’d have torn your hand off.
"We have had to change the personnel a lot since I came to the club last May and settling the team down was always going to take time."