Mark Cooper was pleased to feel the tension which has hung around Huish Park all season lift after his Yeovil Town side picked up their first win under his stewardship.
A brace from striker Alex Fisher – who turned in a man of the match performance despite missing a second half penalty – and an injury time goal from substitute Malachi Linton saw the Glovers pick up a 3-1 win over bottom club Gateshead.
It was the third win of the campaign and the first time the team have scored more than two goals all season and the performance was just what Cooper has been working towards since he replaced Chris Hargreaves.
Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins after the match, he said: “You can sense tension around the stadium when we play here and the players feel that as well, so it was just a case of getting three points no matter how we did it.
“When you are near the bottom and you have been beaten down a bit, everyone tells you you’re not very good, you lose a bit of enthusiasm and my job in the last few weeks has been to rebuild that enthusiasm just for the game itself.
“Getting them to play on the front foot and attacking the goal because we know we are sound defensively, it is just unlocking that little bit of belief that they are decent players and they can go and score goals.”
The boss was full of praise for goal-scorers Fisher and Linton – who took their respective totals for the season to four and three – after there performances.
Of Fisher, the manager said: “He’s a good centre forward, he always has been and every time I have seen him play he has done well, so it’s no surprise.
“At this level, all the players, coaches and managers will have a deficiency but we’ve just got to get the best out of him.
“When he’s got his back to goal, in the middle of the pitch, controlling it and getting it wide and getting it in the box, that’s all I have asked him to do.”
Linton came off the bench after 74 minutes to replace Andrew Oluwaborie and the boss was pleased to see him take his opportunity having dropped out of the starting XI since his arrival.
Cooper said: “They get frustrated when they don’t play, so when they do come on the pitch they have to make a difference and Mal has come on the pitch and scored a goal.
“He can be disappointed he’s not playing, but he has to react in the right way like he did when he came on.”
Next up in the National League is a trip to leaders Notts County – a team Cooper managed for a couple of months in 2016 – albeit there’s the small matter of a Somerset Men’s Premier Cup tie against Taunton Town in midweek, let’s not forget.
Of the league fixture, Cooper said: “Nobody will expect Yeovil to go there and get anything, they are flying and have a very good manager in Luke Williams, and we know it’s going to be a difficult ask but we’re looking forward to it.
“They will have a record crowd there, so why wouldn’t we want to play in that atmosphere? That’s what I have told the players (in the dressing room), we just need to look forward to it – I know I am.”
— Yeovil Town F.C. (@YTFC) November 12, 2022
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