Yeovil Town boss Mark Cooper expects to use a number of his squad players as they prepare for two games in 48 hours over the Bank Holiday weekend.

The Glovers host Tonbridge Angels at Huish Park on Saturday before travelling to Havant & Waterlooville – and their artificial surface – for the National League South fixture on Monday.

The manager reported a clean bill of health for his squad with the exception of midfielder Jordan Stevens who he said was “doing his last bit of rehab” as he looks to return from injury, and captain Josh Staunton who will miss the Monday match due to the surface.

Speaking on Thursday ahead of the visit from Tonbridge, he said: “The idea if we want to be fresh in both games. We have 16 players we can use, but the most important thing is winning the next game and that is what we are targeting.

If you have got six or seven good players that have not played on Saturday and you have the opportunity to freshen up the team 48 hours later, you are going to look at that.

Olly Thomas battles for the ball.

In the 1-1 draw at home to Maidstone United last weekend, Cooper made a triple change with Olly ThomasRhys Murphy and Jordan Young in the 64th minute and it was Murphy who grabbed the equaliser late on.

The boss praised the impact of both Thomas and Young and admitted “it might be time to make a change” in his post-match interview.

Asked about his options he said: “If you are a sub now you know that if you are coming on with 20 minutes to go, you are playing a third of the game with the extra added time.

We have made subs quite early in games, it was bang on 60 minutes on Saturday (against Maidstone), so those boys have played almost as much as the boys who have come off.

In a reference which presumably was about Thomas, he added: “If there is a sub which keeps coming on and doing well, that player has to be at the front of your mind. But that player might be at the stage of his career where he has to build in to 30 minutes, 60 minutes and build him up.

At the start of the game everything is tight and there is less room for him to run in to and the people might say he’s not done as well and I need to put him back on the bench.

Jake Hyde
Picture courtesy of Iain Morland.

Cooper confirmed that captain Staunton would miss out on the Bank Holiday Monday fixture at Havant, but suggested there was a possibility that striker Jake Hyde might feature.

Hyde had sat out the opening day defeat on the 3G surface at Hemel Hempstead, but the boss suggested he could play: “We are not ruling Jake out yet, but definitely Josh because of his knee.

Meanwhile, on Stevens who has has been missing since pre-season, he added: “Jordan Stevens is just doing his last bit of rehab but he is not far away now and he will be a massive asset to us because of his ridiculous pace and that is something difficult to defend against.

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

Yeovil go in to the weekend in sixth place in the National League South table – not that anyone looks at it for at least another month – with seven points from their opening four games. 

Cooper said: “If we can get a positive result Saturday, that will be a positive return for us (from the four home games we have had). If you can get a return of two points per game, you usually win the league so that is what we want to target.

The fans have on the whole backed the team. The most difficult thing for a fan to be is positive all the time. When you have been the fan of a club you can be negative and I understand that, but the more positive they can be the more positive outcome they will get. Players, fans, staff need to be together to achieve and get this club where it needs to be.

If you take seven points from every three games, you are probably on target. If you do that over the course of the season, you will probably win the league.

So we have to keep perspective and, as I have said before, Rome was not built in a day but we are heading in the right direction.

If we had got over the line last Saturday we would have been top of the league, we are one win off the top of the league. Everyone has to be calm, focused and we will be fine.

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Andy Pandy
7 months ago

“and if my auntie had a pair of wotsits…” 

Love it!! Ha ha 🙂