Yeovil v Pompey: The Opposition View
A two-month unbeaten run in League Two has now come to an end, but confidence remains within Yeovil's squad.
Darren Way’s side went from the start of October to early this month having not lost any of their eight league games.
They are also still involved in the Checkatrade Trophy, with Reading Under-23s the next opposition.
That spell of games lifted the Glovers into the play-off spots, but it came to an end with successive defeats to Barnet and then Carlisle.
However, they were unfortunate to lose both, in particular Barnet, who scored with their only attempt of the game.
On Boxing Day it was a goalless draw with Exeter, although disappointingly Ryan Hedges – one of the key players – went off with an ankle injury and will also miss today’s visit of Pompey.
During that impressive run, Way was able to field a settled side. When everyone is fit, you can normally name the first XI and that consistent team selection can be seen in the way they play.
Yeovil’s strength has been their defence, it is a team built from the back rather than scoring a huge amount of goals.
They are always confident of keeping a clean sheet and, during that recent run, there were three 1-0 victories and one 5-0.
Central defender Alex Lacey has been one of the best players, looking very much improved on the shaky player from last season who was not an automatic choice. He really has come on in leaps and bounds.
Another important presence in the rearguard has been Darren Ward, although he is currently out injured with a knee problem.
He missed the start of the campaign but returned to add a calming influence among some inexperienced defenders.
For Yeovil, this season was about finishing mid-table with no relegation worries – for a change!
They were relegated from the Championship, then League One and were involved in another dogfight to stay up last season. There have been some tough times.
The fans want to see progress on the pitch and not have to worry about dropping down yet another division.
At this stage of the season, the vast majority will be happy with a current placing of 13th.
Boss Way has talked about the possibility of promotion or the play-offs, but I don’t believe there is such an expectation among supporters.
If anything that will be a bonus, as they seek to enjoy mid-table.