Date: 4th August 2015 at 8:52pm
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Manager Mark Yates wasn’t a happy man following the Whitehawk friendly, but he’s had a few things irk the last week or so.

Audio – Yates On Whitehawk
Audio – Woodman & Donnelly Speak

Losing the Whitehawk game two one despite taking the early lead in the encounter, Yates is quoted by the Crawley Observer as admitting that our hosts were a ‘million miles’ better than we were on the day.

However there is a philosophical outlook on it.

‘I was not best pleased but I`d rather it happened now than next week! We had a general tiredness and lethargy. As long as they put in a performance next week I`ll allow them that. They were better than us by a million miles and credit to them for that.’

Yates went on to describe our hosts as being ‘excellent’ on the day and annoyingly for us we ‘couldn’t get near them’ all game long in reality.

He also just had to accept the decision of the referee to allow play to go on despite a flag for offside.

‘She has stood there with her flag up in the air for a few seconds and then taken it down. He (the referee) has given me an explanation and it`s alright and I understand what he was saying. Luke Rooney was down five yards behind them and once she has stood there with her flag up we were expecting the whistle to blow but I accept what he said – it`s not a problem.’

Life doesn’t seem to get any easier when it comes to Izale McLeod and our top goal scorer of last season.

In quote carried by the Crawley News the gaffer confirmed that we won’t sell the player under market value just because he wants out and he can sit in the stands for the next year if he ‘sees fit’ to play it that way.

With Notts County taking to the media to encourage us to accept their offer having confirmed we turned down £100,000 for the player, Yates said he wouldn’t figure this season whatever now happens because he has no desire to play for the club.

The 30 year old has also been left out of our official team photo for the year.

‘He won`t be involved in my squad this season. We have had a couple of offers for him and he has made it abundantly clear that he doesn`t want to play for us. He has done all he can to get out of the last two pre-season games and he won`t be involved against Oxford. I want people who want to be here, I want people who want to fight for the cause and are team players. Izale, although he is a very good goalscorer, doesn`t want to be part of that. And that`s fine. If we get an offer that we think is right then we will be looking to move him on and if not then he will be in the stands all season if that`s how we see fit.’

Yates went on to say that obviously the club aren’t stupid and we know clearly we will miss his goals, but that’s one of the reasons we brought in Roarie Deacon and Lee Barnard as we were covering this ‘eventuality’.

‘Izale has made it abundantly clear; he is the one instigating things and trying to get away from this football club and stating that he has no desire to play for us. If the criteria is met then we will get him out and if not he can sit in the stands for as long as it takes.’

Never nice when things turn like this, but for Yates it’s already been enough of a distraction and he ended his interview by saying.

‘I don`t want to concentrate on Izale, the priority now is Saturday and Izale McLeod isn`t in the squad. I`m looking forward to the Oxford game and I`m looking forward to putting a team out who are going to be strong, be resolute and be competitive. I want to concentrate on the group who will be going out and putting on the Crawley shirt with pride and passion, and going out there to get us a result.’

Hopefully a resolution that suits all parties can be reached sooner rather than later.

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