Glovers boss Mark Cooper is insistent that whilst a place in the play-offs at time of writing is adequate, there’s more to come from his side.

This weekend, Yeovil face Hampton & Richmond in what will mark the 10th league game of the season – a mythical point in time used by some to judge the current status of the team.

Cooper was chatting to the BBC ahead of the fixture and said he was expecting another tough test.

“It’ll be the same as lots of other teams, it’s a difficult game. Probably boring that I say that but they all are difficult games in our League and we have to be right, we have to be tactically right we have to keep working on our partnerships and the team, make sure we’re we’re a little bit more solid in our play – certainly you know as a group defensively – and we keep up the the goal scoring record.”

As it stands, Bath City top the table with 20 points from nine games, four others – including Torquay and Taunton – either sit bang on, or just above 2pts per game. But the manager thinks the division will start to mould itself from here on out.

“I think it’s such an open League at the minute and you see some freak results and I think it’s really Christmas when it starts to settle down and the night’s drawing and the yellow balls come out and it’s gets a bit miserable, I think you see a real honesty then about where you might end up finishing but we know it’s gonna be a tough game on Saturday we’ve know they’ve got some good players and but again, if we do our bit and play to our capabilities we can get a result.”

If the division is starting to settle, the team is too, but the manager wants to see more, in all areas and thinks we might yet be playing at just 60-70% of it’s capabilities. 

“I think we’ve settled but there’s still improvements (to be made) like you know echoing Josh’s (Staunton) comments that we’re still a little bit open I’m not just defensive as a unit, as a team and something that we’re trying to –  it’s relationships so the right centre back in the right full back or less centre half and he left full back or centre half and the midfield player in front of them, those relationships are key and if one moves in the team then the other last to move otherwise you leave a gap so we have to work on those relationships, keep working on it a lot of new players but there are sizes that we are settling.”

I still think we’ve got 30/40% left to develop


“I still think there’s loads, I still think we’ve got 30/40% left to develop and we’re not as fluent as I would like that any manager tell you never really out where you think you should be and the key is to keep picking up results and to stay in the hunt and that’s our aim”

Looking ahead to the weekend, Cooper said he’s aware of Hampton’s dangers and has asked his side to impose themselves on the fixture.

I said before, when I knew were getting relegated, I watched three, four games in the National League South last season towards the end just to make myself aware of the landscape and you find every team’s got two or three really tricky players so certainly when you go closer to London they have some really tricky wide forwards and you really difficult to deal with and that’s the bit that we have to deal with those variables and those transitional moments we have to be really good at.”

“Not really, like I say we’re still trying to build those relationships we’ve got you know we’re lucky that we’ve got some goal scorers in the squad and it’s just trying to get a balance right, you can’t play them all you’ve seen that we have to manage we’ve got two or three that we have to manage physically and you know finding that sort of solution and fixing the puzzle is the is the biggest thing but we’ve got Jamie Sendels-White still not right, the rest will all be available.”

With only JS-W missing from the squad, and the bench reduced to five (from seven in the FA Cup) the manager has some decisions to make regarding who he can call upon and how he manages his star players – hat trick or not!

“Rhys (Murphy) and Jake (Hyde) didn’t play a lot of football last year and the one thing when they came is I promise that I manage them physically and not put them at risk of getting injuries that will put them out for two three months at a time so that’s been the situation with them and why we’re taking them in and out and people say well they need to play every game to get into a rhythm that probably can’t so we have to be clever with that and Rhys scoring a hat trick of course there’ll be a clamour r to put them in the team but like I said it’s always about balance trying to fight if you put eight forwards in the team you’re gonna get of course so we have to make sure the balance is right”

Rhys Murphy.
Picture courtesy of Mike Kunz.

“I think we’re quite calm there’s a group I think they know where we need to be we know what we need to do they know that a win puts them position it’s just about, like I say, there’s 37 games left, we have to keep picking points up and if we can stay around the 2 points per game mark – there is a long way to go there is a long way to go there’s a lot of dark winter nights there’s a lot of mud, rain, snow so now is about picking points up and then getting ready for the charge towards the end.”


The Full Interview (Audio Only) can be found below.



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