Gary Johnson: Next three home games vital for Yeovil Town's play-off hopes
Yeovil Town’s next three home games will be vital in making sure the club’s season-long fight for the play-offs has a happy ending, according to the manager.
Glovers’ boss Gary Johnson has described their battle to reach npower League One’s top six as a Hollywood blockbuster, with supporters only now able to identify the plot’s heroes.
A 2-0 win at Sheffield United and four victories from their last five league outings has sent confidence soaring ahead of Preston North End’s visit on Saturday.
Johnson said that the weekend clash, the first of a trio of home encounters, signalled the start of an important spell for the club.
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“We certainly see it as an opportunity,” said Johnson. “Preston are still a big club and are a Sheffield United to me with their history and size of the club. It is the first of three vital home games for us and if we can produce a performance like we did at Sheffield United then hopefully we can at least start believing in ourselves.
“I bet the supporters up at Sheffield started believing in what they saw so that is all you can ask for at this stage. There are still plenty of points to play for but if we can get that belief around about now that will be perfect.
“Our relatively inexperienced team keeps showing that one week we can be very competitive at this level and another week we are not very competitive.
“But they are gaining experience as they go along now. We are 27 games into the season and all of a sudden this film we started watching where we didn’t know who the actors were, all of a sudden we know who the actors are.
“We didn’t know who the heroes were going to be and all of a sudden there are three or four players stepping forward. All of a sudden we are starting to see the plot.
“This is the time now to make sure that we do all we can to make sure the build up to the end of the film is really interesting. This is the important part to see whether the end of the film is happy or sad.”
Yeovil have lost twice to Preston already this season, but with meetings with MK Dons and Brentford also on the horizon, Johnson said the club cannot display any fear.
He said: “We are probably not going to get relegated and I think as a club we should start thinking ‘actually, we have put ourselves in a pretty strong position with four wins out of five’.
“We have got some massive home games coming up and they are the games to show our quality because there shouldn’t be any fear now.
“We are out of the cups, we are a point away from the play-off zone, we must not show any fear. That is from the boardroom, to the management to the players and to the supporters.”
Johnson said he was keen to see a repeat on Saturday of the “mental toughness” that helped the Glovers earn a valuable 2-0 victory at Bramall Lane. “All games are different, you can never perform exactly the same but you can have the same mentality and same mental toughness that we had up at Sheffield United,” he said.