Seven league games in and just the one win chalked up for Yeovil Town and the Green Army, but excuse us, if you will, for continuing in our optimism.
Amongst the opponents so far have been MK Dons, Sheffield United and Preston North End and from what I saw I would suggest that all three will be fighting toe-to-toe for a place in the Play-offs come the end of the season.
Town were not disgraced in any of those performances, just the single goal deciding each tie with Yeovil’s spirit and guts not quite converting into points on the board. No more spirit was shown than in the seven-goal thriller away to Preston. North End, by all accounts, could have, should have, been about 7-1 up but for some desperate defending and a good few extra licks of paint on the woodwork.
It was a fair old trip from Yeovil to Preston, add to that some Friday night traffic on the M6 and I managed to stroll up to my seat just as the teams emerged from the tunnel. Yeovil showed that night what they will need to show throughout the season; a steely resolve and a willingness to fight for the badge. Were it not for a fine one-on-one save by Preston’s Turner, then Kieran Agard could have robbed North End of two points and taken one back to Somerset.
The reason for my continued optimism is not just blind faith. I do believe in what Terry Skiverton is trying to do at the club and I believe that he has been handed some rotten luck. Injuries; every club has injuries, but in a small squad on a shoestring budget knocks and niggles have a big effect. Skiverton believes he has entered his worst period of injuries since he took over at the club and he’s not wrong.
Nathan Jones realised he was playing with a broken shoulder, only for his deputy Curtis Haynes-Brown to perform well but get sent off. New signing Bondz N’Gala has played just two league games before being ruled out along with Obika who could need surgery. Gavin Williams who’s damaged his knee ligaments and Andy Williams join new recruits Dominic Blizzard and Kerrea Gilbert on the treatment table.
That bad luck continued during the transfer window as Skiverton endured a frustrating time. Two main players were courted as Skivo tried to make deals which fell through come deadline time. Chelsea starlet Conor Clifford was offered a loan deal to Somerset, which would have been just the type of player we need. He has captained the Chelsea youth side to F.A Youth Cup victory and represented Ireland at under-21 level. Clifford was loaned to the West Country last year as he fought for the cause at Plymouth Argyle; combative, confident and a goal-scorer from midfield, Skivo missed out on a real gem.
The second target was a permanent deal for Norwich City’s Oli Johnson who is no stranger to the Green Army having made 17 appearances on loan last year. Skiverton revealed that he was prepared to part with some significant money to purchase the Premier League side’s starlet, but it wasn’t enough to reach Norwich’s valuation.
As well as waiting for Skivo’s luck to turn I have also been buoyed by some early-season positives. Before the season I highlighted the emergence of young Ed Upson as an exciting prospect and perhaps key to Yeovil’s performance. He has shown already that he can break up play as easily as creating it and he is becoming a combative force in the centre of the park. Anthony Edgar is another that will emerge and improve as the season goes on, his driving runs from midfield really eases the pressure on the Yeovil back line and he is not afraid to shoot at any opportunity, highlighted by is sumptuous volley against Preston.
Keeping hold of Paul Huntington through the transfer window was a real coup for the Yeovil manager having reportedly held of interest from a number of rival clubs. I hope that we do not end up in the situation at the end of the season, as we did last, where Huntington will be able to walk on a free, only time will show a) Yeovil’s team and business management and b) Paul’s dedication to the club.
Yeovil entertain Wycombe Wanderers before Sheffield Wednesday are the visitors to Huish Park and the gaffer has issued a rallying cry to the ‘floating supporters‘ of Yeovil Town, expressing that “I really want the supporters to come out, I know it’s a difficult time but I’m asking them to come, we’re going to try and put on a good performance for you.”
I personally will be going to the Wycombe game – but if the performance isn’t there, it’s not the end of the world, so long as we take all three points. I hope that there will be a time over the next fortnight where something will click, and we will start turning performances into results and Yeovil Town will sneak up the table before the early gap to the play-offs becomes much bigger.
Written by Ryan Peasland, We Are Going Up’s Yeovil Town Blogger
Ryan tweets at @rpeasland