The Robins manager leads his team against fellow high-flyers Crawley in League Two on Tuesday, where a win would open up a five-point lead for the Gloucestershire side at the top of the division.
That would defy pre-season predictions of doom and gloom at Whaddon Road, and Yates puts Cheltenham's remarkable rise down to the attitude and application shown by his squad members.
"The players have been absolutely brilliant. The spirit we have here is second to none. They just get on so well as a group," he said.
"We had good times when I was a player at a few clubs, probably none more so than here, but they're such good characters, such good people and my job's made easy by their attitudes.
"They know when it's work time, they know when it's time to get their heads down but they also know when it's time to enjoy themselves."
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