Practise does not make perfect for Mark

PRACTISE does not necessarily make perfect, as dead ball specialist Mark Yeates proved at the expense of West Brom on Saturday.Yeates confessed to spending very little time practising his free-kicks in training, and yet he slammed home another stunner for the initial equaliser in a rip-roaring 3-2 win.

By Carl Marston

PRACTISE does not necessarily make perfect, as dead ball specialist Mark Yeates proved at the expense of West Brom on Saturday.

Yeates confessed to spending very little time practising his free-kicks in training, and yet he slammed home another stunner for the initial equaliser in a rip-roaring 3-2 win.

“It's going well for me at the moment, and this is a massive result for us,” insisted Yeates.


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“The free-kicks keep going in for me, but I don't practise them that much, perhaps just for a few minutes here and there after training. I certainly don't spend hours practising them.

“I'm feeling very confident from dead-ball plays, and I was the first person to the ball to take the penalty. There was no chance of anyone else taking it, and that's the first penalty of my career.

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“It's been frustrating because we've been playing well this season without getting that many wins,” added Yeates.

The former Tottenham winger has seven goals to his name already, and he thinks that he should be on eight - his deflected free-kick at Southampton has gone down as an own goal.

Yeates said: “I set myself a target of at least 10 goals this season, so I'm getting there quicker than expected. I'll take any goal that comes my way, and I'd still like to claim the one at Southampton, if I was offered it.

“I don't think I'm necessarily playing any better than the two previous seasons, it's just that I'm scoring more goals.”

Even though his team were triumphant, U's manager Geraint Williams insisted that West Brom are still the best attacking side in the Championship.

Williams said: “I rate West Brom as the best footballing side in the division. It was a great game to watch, but that's because we won it! It wouldn't have been great if we hadn't won.

“We still need to tighten up at the back, but I can't complain because we keep scoring goals. This was the same West Brom side that tore QPR to shreds (5-1) recently, and yet we rose to the challenge.

“Mark (Yeates) has got into a habit of scoring from free-kicks, and I reckon this latest one was the best of the lot. Kevin (Lisbie) and Clive (Platt) were also excellent up front. Clive was unplayable. He was a real handful.

“Kevin was also very positive with his goal. It was a one-on-one with the defender, and he didn't check back, he went for goal. I'm very pleased for the players,” added Williams.

Baggies boss Tony Mowbray cut a crestfallen figure in the post-match press huddle. His side have mustered just four points from six away games.

Mowbray rued: “I'm very disappointed today. We can't go away from home and leak three goals every match, because we won't win many games.

“We have to accept the referee's decision on the penalty. Our target is to get out of this division, and we'll be judged on how close we come.”

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