After 10 fixture-less days, Mark Cooper‘s table-topping Glovers return to Huish Park this Saturday to face Hemel Hempstead. The Tudors inflicted defeat on Yeovil Town on the opening day and the boss says his side have not forgotten that afternoon in Hertfordshire. 

Jake Wannell wins the ball at Hemel
? David Coates

Cooper told BBC Somerset’s Jack Killah: “I know that they beat us in the game and really enjoyed their victory, which we remember, and they’ve got some good players. They’ve got one of the best players that I’ve I’ve ever coached in, George Williams, terrific talent, beset with injuries at a crucial time. But like I said, every week they [the opposition] have threats.”

Following the 1-0 win at Taunton last Tuesday, Cooper’s players had a break and the manager said after a busy schedule, they’ve returned looking refreshed.

“We gave the players a break to get their legs back. [We] didn’t want them to think anything about football, just wanted them to switch off and go and recharge, which they did. [It was a] really good time for them, I think, to go and have a break and they’ve come back really refreshed, [we’ve had] a really good full week’s training for us in preparation for a home game on Saturday.

“I just think mentally, you know, they had a really tough schedule, busy, busy schedule, the pressure to win every week and the bonus was that we went to Taunton and won, which meant that break was even sweeter for them,” he added.

Michael Smith fires in to the gloves of Taunton keeper Dan Lavercombe.

The manager also said that he wasn’t talking about the 13-point (mind the) gap at the top of the league (no one is Mark, don’t worry!) and encourage everyone to get behind one big, final push.

“If I’m being really honest, we don’t talk about that [THE MASSIVE GAP]. We just talk about the next game now. So far, the season has been magnificent. Everybody in the club, everybody involved, top to bottom, supporters have been magnificent. Now we’ve got 20 games left. We need one final, final, big push from everyone and and the supporters have got a massive part to play to get behind the players.

“I think everybody turns up now to Huish Park expecting us to win but sometimes it’s gonna be difficult and I don’t think they realise how important they are to the players. Let’s get behind the boys from the start and keep behind them for for 95 minutes and you know, let’s not wait, let’s make sure we’re right behind the team.


Cooper also touched on recruitment, squad-building and the signing of Jay Foulston: “We’ve got a really good age to our squad in terms of the average age and the varying ages we’ve got. Certainly what we’re trying to do is build a squad that’s not just really good for now, but it’s really good for the years to come and we’ve got a lot of longevity and in people like Jay.

“That’s the way we’re trying to build the squad, more of a data-based way of recruitment with location in mind. Jay fits perfectly into that. He can play numerous positions, he’s got competition at left back. We’ve got a really, really good left back in Whittle. But Jay can play left midfield, play left centre back, so great signing for us.”

Cooper also spoke about the signing of Sam Pearson, which you can read here.


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