Mark Yates is serving up some off-field confidence boosts that are leaving him out of pocket at Crawley Town.
The Reds boss has revealed how he and assistant manager Jimmy Dack are putting in the hours with the team on the table tennis table as well as the training field.
Yates says he would take the credit for Rhys Murphy’s brace in their 2-1 win over Bristol Rovers on Saturday after giving his on-loan striker a confidence boost on the ping pong table last week.
It was Crawley’s fourth straight home win and came at a cost for the management team, who were left out of pocket on the table after training last week.
Yates said: “Me and Jimmy take massive credit for Rhys’ performance as on Thursday we battered him and Sonny (Bradley) at table tennis.
“We beat them 5-0 and tonked them. Me and Jimmy had a little word and we said ‘last game for a tenner’ - and we had pulverised them - but with a tenner on offer, all of a sudden their eyes lit up.
“They didn’t hustle us, we let them win, we did exactly the same on Friday, tonked them and then said double or quits on the tenner.
“Although me and Jimmy are £20 down, I think Rhys’ goal bonus can come my way. Probably the best two table tennis players at the club, me and Jimmy, lost £20, so it’s all about building players’ confidence.
“Sometimes a little word with Jimmy to hit a few into the net and Rhys went from a troubled man to winning £20 and as happy as Larry.”
Joking aside, Yates stressed their the close-knit factor of his players is serving them well as they continue to climb the table.
Although Yates fancies his side to be top of League Two if they were playing table tennis every Saturday, their improved form on the pitch has seen them creep up on the play-offs.
But he’s unsure if the notes will be back on the table this week, and added: “I’ve got no more money to play them with! We have a really great set of lads, the dressing room on training days is fantastic.
“If we had an 11 for table tennis in the league with me and Jimmy in the team, I think we’d be top of League Two.
“There is a great spirit, I think 4 o’clock they left the other day from the table tennis table. It’s really helps and I am being serious that Rhys had a real smile on his face.”
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