Yeovil Town boss Mark Cooper believes the past two matches has seen his side start to deliver the style of football he is looking for them to play.
The Glovers have picked up four points in their last two National League outings with an impressive 2-0 win at Dagenham & Redbridge last weekend and a goalless draw at home to Wealdstone.
They dominated possession and showed a real control of the game for the opening 45 minutes in midweek, until the dismissal of loan defender Owen Bevan for a wild tackle left them having to dig in for a point.
Speaking ahead of this weekend’s home match with bottom club Maidstone United, the manager said: “That is the way I want us to play, my teams have always played like that. We want to be better, have more goal-scoring action but hopefully we can continue in that vein.
“As a coach you can get the team to that part of the pitch enough times, but we know the hardest thing in football is to score a goal.
“My job is to get the forward players in those position enough times, then it is about decision making, the final bit that leads to the goal is the hardest bit. I’m convinced if we keep getting in those positions, we will score more regularly.”
He added: “As a coach you want to see progression and a clear outline of what you are trying to work towards and we’ve had two games where we have seen that, that now has to be ten, 12 or 15 games before we get excited.
“My feet are on the ground, I am expecting a tough game (against Maidstone) and we are expecting another tough game.”
The boss confirmed that only the suspended Bevan and full-back Jamie Reckord, who sits out the second match of a two-game suspension for picking up ten yellow cards, will miss the game against Maidstone.
However, Chiori Johnson, who was on the bench in midweek but has not played since the Boxing Day draw at Torquay United, and winger Charlie Wakefield, who was introduced after 72 minutes against Wealdstone, are both options.
Cooper said: “It’s disappointing (for players) when you don’t make the team and all these boys are desperate to play, but we can only pick 16 and their attitude on the whole has been really good.
“They understand there’s a reason if they are not in the squad, you don’t get left out if you are playing really well, so if they get their chance they have to take it. You have to train hard, practice and be ready.”
The manager’s son, Charlie Cooper, has impressed at the base of midfield against both Dagenham & Redbridge and Wealdstone, and his arrival has allowed captain Josh Staunton to drop back in to defence.
Asked about the formation, the boss did not want to dwell too much on his son, saying: “Staunts is more comfortable at the back, so that was always the intention but I don’t want to talk too much about Charlie for obvious reasons.
“The players we have brought in have all improved the group, I thought Lawson D’Ath came in and did really well and showed what a good footballer he is.
“We had Jack Clarke who we had to rest the other night, so we have some good competition and technical ability as well as athleticism in the middle of the pitch and that is what I have been waiting for.”
This weekend, Yeovil host a Maidstone United side who are bottom of the National League table having conceded 66 times in 30 matches.
Former Wolves defender George Elokobi is in caretaker charge of the visitors following the dismissal of Hakan Hayrettin last month.
The Stones nicked a late point off Yeovil at the end of October, a match which Cooper watched from the stands in Kent, and the boss said he was pleased with the improvement of his side since that day.
He said: “We have shown some progress, got points and we are in a healthier position than we were. That has to continue and as the club builds we can get better, but I have enjoyed the ride so far.
“Their form has taken a downturn since we last played and they have lost a really good manager in Hakan, they have a caretaker manager and they are desperate for points.
“The onus is on us to attack the game and try to win and set our stall out as to how we want to play early on. Every point is vital, there is a lot of teams finding some form at the bottom and a lot above us starting to drop, so we just have to keep ticking along and picking up points and we should be okay.
“They were unlucky against Torquay last time out, but we are at home and we have to be on the front foot. There’s no gimmes in this game, you have to earn everything.”
After Saturday’s fixture, the Glovers are out of action for a fortnight until the visit of leaders Notts County to Huish Park on February 18th, and Cooper spoke of his frustration at the congestion fixture list.
His side will play twice a week for the three weeks following after the visit to Barnet was rearranged for Tuesday 14th March.
Cooper said: “It is getting to the stage now where it can become almost impossible to fit the games in where we are given a fair chance to recover our players. After Saturday with the amount of games we have left, it is not pretty.
“We thought we were going to fit a game in on Tuesday but the club we wanted to play can’t play it for some reason. I think our only other free week is when England C play and we have been told no-one is allowed to play on that night, so it will mean that one or two of the weeks towards the end of the season we will be playing on a Tuesday or Thursday night.
“We have moved heaven and Earth to try and fit some games in.”
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