Yeovil Town Caretaker Manager Neale Marmon spoke to local journalist Chris Spittles, in an interview for BBC Somerset, after his side had drawn 1-1 against Swindon Town on Saturday 6th April 2019.
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CS: Neale, your team kept going this afternoon, and in the end they got the reward for keeping going.
NM: Absolutely. I thought in the first half, over the last two weeks we've trained really hard and we looked a bit jaded. I didn't think the system we played - the 4-3-3 against Swindon - worked really well. We sat far too deep. After half time, Sessi D'Almeida had a problem with his groin, so we took him off after five minutes, and put the second striker on, and that stopped Swindon playing out from the back straight away.
CS: So you say that they've been jaded in training. Has that been necessary training to get their fitness levels up to where you want them to be?
NM: No, I think I've just changed the system around a bit by training four times in two days on Tuesdays and Wednesdays. It takes a little bit of getting used to. The boys have really put their heart into it over the last two weeks, and I'm very very pleased it. They told me before the game they might be a bit jaded, but I've taken the risk here at Swindon because there's five games coming up where we're likely to pick up the points from them.
CS: Do you think this could be the toughest game, when you look at the run of six, coming here to Swindon today. The fact that you got a point is a positive point for you.
NM: Every game is going to be tough for us, because we've got a very young squad. So I don't underestimate them, at any point when we play against them, or disrespect anyone. We'll all get back in tomorrow morning and train again tomorrow morning, nice and easy, and give the boys that didn't run out a bit of a training session, have Monday off and then we're back in on Tuesday and Wednesday for the normal programme.
CS: Having rode out that first half, where you had pressure and were a bit jaded, how disappointing was it to concede quite so close to half time?
NM: Yes, because when you've had a number of chances against you, then to concede right at the end of it, that's very annoying. I had a little go at them at half time. I think it spiked them a little bit. Then in the second half when we brought on Alex Fisher, it was a different game.
CS: You did keep going. Tom James's set pieces have been so valuable all season, and there he is swinging over the free kick for Adel Gafaiti to score such a crucial goal.
NM: Yes, I think the goal beforehand was apparently not offside but I haven't seen it yet. It makes a difference. I think that for our morale it was a massive result, and I've seen with the fans out there, their faces are smiling and with the noise afterwards, I think they'll get behind us on Saturday, when we've got Crawley at home. If we can get a win there, we'd be catch up Crawley by three points as well, so we'd be bringing them into the relegation battle.
CS: That's the thing. It was a point here, but it felt like a win for those fans. But importantly you stopped the rot as it was five successive defeats. That's important, isn't it, to stop that run?
NM: Of course. On that sort of a run that we've had, to change it around to get a 1-1 right at the end, they know now that they've got the petrol in the tank and they've got the legs to do it, even though they're very tired. I think we'll take off now. The fans will get behind them even more in the stadium next week, and it's all positives this week in training and around the ground. I'm sure we'll get a result on Saturday.
CS: You lost your captain Omar Sowunmi. What's happened there?
NM: Well he had the bad injury before Christmas - around October, I think. It was a massive operation, and he had three new ligaments put in. When you get a twist like that, it's always going to be difficult, so I think he was being honest, and we'd better take him off. Adel Gafaiti had been waiting to get back anyway. He played a good game I thought, and it was a massive result for us.
CS: So you've got to assess both Omar and Sessi ahead of Crawley on Saturday?
NM: Yes, our physio team will work 24/7 to get them back onto the pitch. Because we've worked very hard over the last two weeks, I don't think it will be necessary for them to train until Wednesday or Thursday, and aim for it to be really light. If they're back in training on Friday then they've got a chance of playing on Saturday.
CS: A few of the fans have been asking where Craig Alcock, Carl Dickinson and Francois Zoko are, and have been. Can you shed any light on those players that haven't been involved?
NM: My first big decision with Dicko (Carl Dickinson) and Craig Alcock was for them not to be involved anymore. First of all I felt the future was in my hands in terms of blooding young players. I thought Daniel Ojo did very well today. He obviously makes mistakes at 18 years old. That's normal. So I think I have alternatives at left-back. I can put Tom James over there, Josh Grant over there when they're fit. So that was an easy decision. Craig Alcock hadn't really played at all, so what we did was we put him into the Academy, to help out there. That's functioning very well. Francois Zoko for me was third or fourth in the pecking order for a striker, so what I did was I gave him an offer, either to train Friday and go home and see his kids, or to go home on Thursday to miss the traffic, or to travel with us to Swindon and watch the game if he wanted to, and then drive home. So he decided to go home on the Thursday. There's no animosity at all. It's just that I said he wasn't in the pecking order to play, so I gave him the time off.
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