Squad cannot be phased by opposition's big reputations
YEOVIL Town cannot be phased by a team's reputation when it is arguably grander than their current standing, according to Sam Hoskins.
The Glovers tackle former European champions Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship at Huish Park on Saturday before travelling to one-time Champions League semi-finalists and top flight winners Leeds United seven days later.
However, attacker Hoskins – who made his full debut against Brighton and Hove Albion at the weekend – was quick to point out that the two teams will start on a level playing field at 3pm.
Yeovil dropped to the foot of the Championship despite claiming their first home point of the season against the Seagulls, with former Southampton youngster Hoskins confident his team can kick on versus Premier League hopefuls Forest.
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Hoskins said: "It's obviously disappointing that we dropped to the bottom of the league, but the spirit of the lads to stay in the game with the hard work was very good against Brighton and we were just pleased to get a point.
"It was our first home point and hopefully we can push on next Saturday and get another three.
"The teams that we come up against are all very big teams but a lot of it, with no disrespect to them, is that their names are a lot bigger than where they are at the moment.
"We can't let that affect us and let that affect our game. We will go into the matches playing our own game and hopefully get the three points."
Hoskins, a prolific scorer throughout the age groups at St Mary's, had previously been used in substitute roles before starting against Brighton.
Having played both on the left and up top, the 20-year-old partnered James Hayter in attack with Andy Williams dropping to the bench and Paddy Madden omitted entirely from the squad.
Manager Gary Johnson explained he had chosen the pairing who had impressed him most during the international break, with Hoskins believing a combination of keeping his head down and working hard had earned him the nod.
"It was obviously a very hard game for us," said the Dorchester-born man. "The first half in particular, getting used to their shape and the way they moved around, was tough, but it's always going to be tough against opposition with that quality in the Championship.
"I think we did pick up as the game went on and we had our chances, but it was just a shame we couldn't take one of them.
"I'm not too sure what in particular I've done, I've just kept my head done and worked my hardest on what I know I can do.
"Obviously Hayts is always consistent so he's come back from an injury, come back in and done well. You've got to the work like we were before you get the goals, holding the ball up and keeping it.
"When the quality of the opposition is so good the chances are few and far between and you have got to make sure you take them when they come."
Hoskins admitted that he was also lucky not to escape a first senior red card against Brighton, placed on a final warning by referee Garry Sutton after an early yellow card for simulation.
He said: "I don't think I was that late and to start off I didn't think I should've been on a yellow card because it was a foul.
"He came over and said 'calm down, you're on your last warning'. I had to compose myself and make sure I didn't do anything silly to get myself sent off.
"To start with I didn't think I was going to get sent off, but then I saw he had two of their players in his ear and thought 'he's going to go for his pocket'. But luckily he didn't send me off because it would've cost myself and the team, more importantly.
"It only changes your mind when you see those 50-50s that you could potentially go in for. When other players know you're on your last warning they make the most of every tackle.
"In a way it changes your mind, but luckily against Brighton I wasn't in that position to be sent off."