Speaking ahead of Saturday's tie with Accrington, Yates said that the Robins must return to form in their final 13 games if they are to move up the table.
Cheltenham ended 2012 in the automatic promotion places, but a run of just two wins since the turn of the year has seen them slip down to fifth and a victory against struggling Stanley will go a long way to putting things right for Yates.
"We've got 13 games to go and this is the next one," he told the club's official website.
"It's the most important one because it's the only one we can deal with, the only one we can try and get three points from. You can do all the planning you like but it's always the next game that is the most important.
"I understand peoples frustrations but there's no point worrying about what's gone on, you have to deal with what's ahead of you.
"We've got 13 games to go, 39 points to play for and we'll get as many of those as quickly as we can."