Manager Mark Cooper has said his Yeovil Town players will not allow their standards to slip as they take on relegation-haunted Dartford in front of another bumper crowd at Huish Park.

They face a visiting side desperate for points to survive as they sit 21st in the National League South table, two points behind Eastbourne Borough who are just the right side of the dotted line, knowing 22nd-placed Taunton Town and Eastbourne have games in hand over them.

The Glovers will lift the league title at the end of the match having sealed automatic promotion at the first time of asking with a 2-0 victory against Truro City on Thursday night, but Cooper said he still wants to win today’s fixture.

Speaking to BBC Somerset’s Sheridan Robins ahead of kick-off, he said: “The occasion will take care of itself. They should be able to play in a relaxed manner. The majority of footballers whether they are playing table tennis, darts, or croquet they want to win.

I don’t think it is in them to go and play like it doesn’t matter and with a big crowd they will not let that happen anyway.
The away support on Thursday night was incredible, they have travelled everywhere, and at home 99.9% of the fans have been incredible and let’s hope we can go out with a bang today.”

On Dartford, he added: “It is a horrible situation for them and we have to be respectful of that which we will be. They have to win the game and we have to make sure we maintain the integrity of the game and do our best to win it.

Michael Smith played the full 90 minutes against Truro City on Thursday night, Picture courtesy of Gary Brown.

Captain Matt Worthington and full-back Michael Smith, who both took heavy knocks in the win over Truro in the week, are both dropped to the substitutes’ bench and there is no place for striker Rhys Murphy or winger Jordan Stevens, who both limped off with injury on Thursday night. 

They are replaced by Brooklyn GenesiniDylan MorganSam Pearson and Alex Fisher.

Cooper added: “We have got a few who are not ready to start. Michael Smith is one of them, goodness knows how he got through the game on Thursday.

That is still a really strong team. You have Frank (Nouble) and (Alex) Fisher up top, Sam Pearson who was at a Championship club last year and Dylan Morgan who we are desperate for him to catch fire. There are two really good players in midfield and a solid back four.”

The boss admitted he had reflected with “a lot of pride” since securing promotion and told his players they would go down in history as the division’s best team this season.

He added: “When it is such a long season with so much work going in to it from so many people to achieve promotion, it is such a relief. To get it done was such a relief for so many people and a great celebration with the most important people – the fans.

When you get a promotion, it does not matter what level you work at, to win a title means you are the best team in the league and these players will always have that. That will never been taken away from them.

I have been saying to them all season, it is so difficult to get a championship on your CV, and they have now achieved that. Great credit to them.”

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