Yeovil Town fan Bill Biss helps us preview Tuesday’s trip to Huish Park
Yeovil Town fan Bill Biss helps us preview Tuesday’s trip to Huish Park.
How has the season panned out in contrast to your expectations?
To be honest, my expectations were low – I thought we could compete, have some fun playing established Championships sides, maybe bloody the noses of a few of the big boys with some surprise results, and to an extent – we`ve done all that with our few wins coming against sides like yourselves, Nottingham Forest and Birmingham City.
Our position at the bottom of the table may be representative of our results but our fixtures have been skewed by a large proportion of away games against sides in the top half of the table. We were easily within touch of the other lowly sides until the current run of 1 point in the last 5 games.
Watford have changed quite a bit since the meeting in November: have Yeovil changed at all?
I think we have changed since the game in November – a game which many of our fans will remember fondly when the Championship adventure comes to an end. We`re now at a crossroads.
It seemed like our manager, and former Watford academy-bod Gary Johnson was going to go all out – securing the extended loan signings of Ishmael Miller and the Everton duo, Shane Duffy and John Lundstrum AND converting Adam Morgan`s loan to a permanent deal from Liverpool in January.
There was actually talk from Johnson that the usually pretty reserved (and that`s an understatement) board had gone well over budget to secure our best performers stayed for the fight.
But that hasn`t really appeared to be the case on the field, results have deteriorated, Johnson`s tactics have at times, proved uncharacteristically naïve and on the last day of the transfer window, we gave up Ed Upson, our most creative player, with a whimper when a direct relegation rival (Millwall) came calling.
You’ve only really been thumped twice: has the Championship been as much of a step up as Glovers fans might have expected?
I think if you spoke to any Glover, they`d say it was always unlikely that we`d get turned over on a regular basis.
Sure we concede goals, but we did that last season and this side (and it is essentially the same side) proved they were strong competitors by getting out of League 1 against all the odds.
The step up is in the money floating around in the Championship and as the season has progressed, perhaps we`re seeing that impossible competition off the pitch reflected in the trailing off of our results on it – personally, I think the experience has taken a little of the fight out of everybody at the club.
We need an upturn in form now if we want to stay in this Division, we need a reaction – perhaps not with inform Watford in town, but definitely when Doncaster Rovers visit at the weekend.
How has former Watford man Joel Grant done for you?
Grant has been one of our star turns this season and is proving a brilliant signing.
He is perhaps the only one of our attacking player`s whose skill and speed scares defenders – and Johnson has tried to utilise this by playing him as a second striker alongside whichever of our established frontmen is fit – Millar, Kieffer Moore or James Hayter.
With some upturn in form for these players though, he is now back in his best position on the wing – running at players and cutting inside to find shooting opportunities.
Who will be your key man on Tuesday?
It could well be Grant. But Marek Stech, our first choice keeper is now fit and, a couple of wind-assisted embarrassments against Leeds live on Sky aside, he is our most reliable performer.
It`s also worth looking out for Moore – the young, rough and ready striker we plucked from non-League in the summer has started to show extreme potential.
Any injuries or suspensions?
No injuries to any of our first team regulars and no suspensions – what you see is what you get from our threadbare lot.
The only surprises may come in how bold we set out – our last match against Millwall saw us use 5 strikers, all of whom were on the pitch at one time.
Tough to call – Watford should/could run away with it after your recent results but we need the result.
We also have a habit of losing points from winning positions so even if we go two-up, it`s not game over. The best I can hope for is we leave it so late to break the deadlock, there`s no time for you to respond! So 1-0 home win.
You can follow Bill on Twitter (@WilliamBiss). Bill is Editor of the fanzine STAND, (@standamf) – www.standamf.com.