Manager Mark Cooper has backed the players he has brought in to the side for today’s FA Trophy second round tie at Torquay United to keep his Yeovil Town’s side strong.

He made seven changes from the midweek win over Farnborough with club captain Josh Staunton lining up alongside Bristol City loanee Duncan Idehen in the centre of defence, play-maker Jordan Maguire-Drew being handed a start and Jake Hyde given a run-out up front.

The boss revealed defender Morgan Williams had been suffering with “a sore hamstring and knee in recent weeks which he has played through” and 35-year-old full-back Michael Smith needed to be “freshened up” having started every game since he arrived just over two months ago.

He added: “We have got some boys who have been waiting for an opportunity, they don’t necessarily weaken the team in my opinion, when you are talking about the likes of (Jordan) Maguire-Drew and (Josh) Staunton, they do not weaken our team.

Before the match, Cooper said loanee Idehen, who has appeared on the bench for his parent club three times in Championship fixtures this season, was a long-term target. The 21-year-old was brought in following an injury to Jake Wannell in the win over Farnborough.

He told BBC Somerset reporter Ian Randall today: “He’s a great replacement for Wannell, he’s left-footed and aggressive. I had been speaking to Bristol City academy manager Brian Tinnion about him in previous weeks and making sure he was ready so that, if we needed it, we could act really quickly.

They produce some brilliant kids, they have a great development programme there and bring lots of young players through and want to send them to us and see them as a vehicle to develop them.

Asked about the importance of the 2-1 win at Hampton & Richmond at the end of September, the boss said changes to his formation and tactics in that game were a major factor in the success which has followed.

There was a lot of work done for the two weeks leading up to that game in terms of changing our shape and playing with a box midfield and with real pace in wide areas. But loads of work went on with the two centre backs (Williams and Wannell) to make sure the whole team was more solid and it has come from that block of training we did.”



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