Yeovil Town manager Mark Cooper has said he will not change his style as he aims to continue his side’s unbeaten home form against Eastbourne Borough on Saturday.

The boss has come in for criticism from some quarters on the club’s fanbase for taking a patient approach against teams this season which he insists he believes is the best way to “draw teams out“.

Speaking on Friday ahead of the match, Cooper said: “Most teams change the way they play when they come to Huish Park and it’s not easy. I keep talking about us being all in it together and that includes the fans.

Sometimes we have to go back and sideways to draw them out and if teams are camped on the edge of their box and they have nine players there and we just smash the ball at them it is the toss of a coin.

So we have to be a bit more structured and I will not deviate from that. I think it is the best way for us to play, certainly at home, to try and get around teams. We are unbeaten at home and we have to keep that going.

Sonny Blu Lo-Everton. Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

He said there were no new injuries from the midweek 3-2 win at Somerset rivals Weston-super-Mare with striker Jake Hyde, who was left out of the squad, shown in training ahead of the weekend.

Cooper said he thought midfielder Josh Owers, who impressed in his first match since joining permanently in the summer at Weston, had done “fine” and also pointed out he had Sonny Blu Lo-Everton and Charlie Cooper available. Cooper Junior missed Tuesday night through suspension after his late red card in the defeat at Havant & Waterlooville on Bank Holiday Monday.

Jordan Stevens celebrates his goal in the 4-0 pre-season friendly win at Buckland Athletic.
Picture courtesy of Iain Morland.

Jordan Stevens appeared off the bench at Weston as he continues his reintegration in to the squad after suffering an injury in pre-season.

But Cooper was coy as to whether the former Leeds United player could make his first start of the season against Eastbourne.

He told our man Ian Perkins: “He’s close. You can see with his cameos he can cause real problems with his pace, but he still looked a little rusty in his possession of that ball.

That is coming from him being out for a while, he has to make sure he is right in training and we have to make sure we don’t go back to Step 1 with his injury. So whether tomorrow is the day we will have to wait and see.

He added: “When you have 15-16 players that can all play, it is good to try and keep them on their toes. We have stumbled on to a 4-3-3 which makes us look more solid.

I think we have looked better than when we had two up front, we attack more from deep and also we have an extra body in midfield if the ball turns over. We have stumbled on that, but I think we look a lot better.

In other bits of news from the pre-match press conference:

  • Full-back/Winger Will Dawes has been suffering with glandular fever in recent weeks and has been unable to train until recently. Cooper said: “Dawesy has had glandular fever, so he’s been out of it for a few weeks. He contracted that before the St Albans game and he still has to have tests to see whether he can do contact training again.
  • The manager has spoken to goalkeeper Will Buse about his situation following the arrival of on loan keeper Joe Day. Buse started the club’s opening six National League South matches before being replaced by the experienced Newport County player for last weekend’s 1-1 home draw with Chelmsford City. Cooper said: “Busey now has to be a good supporter to Joe (Day). I have had a conversation with Will and as a manager I had to do what I thought was the right thing in that department. It does not change Will’s development plan, I still think he has a place here.
  • Cooper praised the performance of defender-turned-holding midfielder Morgan Williams in recent matches – but said he thought he scored two own goals in the the win at Weston. The boss said Jamie Morton’s 38th minute strike and the late header from substitute Jason Soule both came off Williams: “When was the last time a Yeovil player scored two own goals? There’s a question for you.” One for the Historical Oracle Nigel Dyson, we think. But on Williams’ new role, the manager added: “If Morgan plays there it gives us the opportunity to play midfielders further forwards, which is why I think it has helped us. I think it is a really good position for Morgan.

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7 months ago

‘We have stumbled on that’! Does he know what he’s doing? Right or wrong about style, it’s not entertaining