Manager Darren Sarll has promised “surprises” in the Yeovil Town side he puts out to face AFC Bournemouth in the FA Cup third round on Saturday.
The Glovers’ camp have been struck down by COVID-19 this week which left the boss with just 12 players to choose from on Thursday, but the boss said the situation was changing daily.
He also revealed that former Bournemouth midfielder Matt Worthington and defender Morgan Williams both suffered knocks which saw them go off in the 2-1 defeat against Torquay United last weekend.
Sarll said: “I thought at one stage we may not be able to play the game just because of sheer numbers (of players we had unavailable).
“I’m coming back to a place where COVID has been present and I’m putting myself at risk every day, if I take this home to my two children and my wife, they are at risk.
“That doesn’t seem to be top of anyone’s agenda. I’m not sulking, those are just the facts, we are getting on with it.
“Outside the Premier League, there doesn’t seem to be any process around these decisions – play the game or get out of the competition.”
On Worthington and Williams, he added: “Williams will be touch and go, Worthington is probably stronger in terms of what we has been able to do this week.
“Then without naming individuals, there’s those who have suffered with illness this week, they have to take a different place depending where they are with their recovery.
“There will be surprises in the line up and the surprises will only be because of the illness that has been in the camp this week.”
There was no specific reference to captain Luke Wilkinson who missed the Torquay defeat having returned a positive lateral flow test ahead of the fixture – so it appears we may have to wait and see which Yeovil Town team makes the team-sheet come 4.45pm on Saturday.
In other news from the weekly pre-match press conference, the manager said:
- It sounds like the boss will not be getting caught up in the romance of the FA Cup saying his side could not afford to be distracted by “all that mumbo-jumbo.”
He added: “We have to play every kick and every moment being focused and concentrated and we have to see it through until whatever minute it takes.
“I have been fortunate this is not my first time playing a team from the Championship in round three, and you can get ahead of yourself and thinking about the potential outcomes of the game.
“We have just got to get to minute one and try to get through to minute two with a focus which is unparalleled to what we normally do because we are playing such a great side.”
- It seems unlikely there will be any further loan signings at coming in with the saying the only additions he would require need finances he does not have access too.
He said: “The best loans we have had here are Remeao Hutton who was 100% supported by Birmingham, and Jimmy Smith, who we paid our way for because he was that good.
“So if you want those players who will make an immediate impact like Jimmy did you have to have the resources available and at the moment I don’t think they are available.”
The club currently has its full quota of loanees in goalkeeper Dillon Barnes, defenders Dan Moss (Millwall), Jack Robinson (Middlesbrough) and Jaheim Headley (Huddersfield Town) and forward Sonny Blu Lo-Everton.
Sarll reiterated that he would be “delighted” to keep two out of the three of Moss, Robinson and Lo-Everton.
- There was praise for Jaheim Headley who the manager said only missed out on the defeat to Torquay due to the late absence of Luke Wilkinson.
Sarll said: “Jaheim Headley has been brilliant since he joined us. He was very unfortunate to miss out on the squad (against Torquay) which was only because Wilkinson’s situation.
“His attitude has been fabulous and he’s a real credit to Huddersfield, I don’t see too many young men behaving in the way he has this week.”