Yeovil Town Caretaker Manager Neale Marmon spoke to BBC Somerset reporter Tom Seymour on Tuesday 16th April 2019, as part of the build-up to the League Two match against Crewe Alexandra.
Photo © 2019 PPAUK
TS: Neale, judging by what you've seen of your three games in charge, how close are Yeovil Town now to getting that first win under your management?
NM: Well hopefully on Friday! We haven't changed much. We've just explained to the boys what we've implemented that's new in the last three weeks. Training intensity, length of training and running distances and we just feel that from a physio's point of view that the training will start to kick in.
TS: I guess now though, you hope that results do as well, because points are what Yeovil Town need.
NM: Absolutely. We need the points as quickly as possible to calm the place down - although there's not anything hectic about the place at all. The lads have trained really well over the last two days and we're fully focussed upon the game on Friday.
TS: How do you approach this match on Friday and the three after them? Do you approach it any differently to other games, just because of how important they are in terms of Yeovil's season?
NM: Since I've been here all the games have been important. I started off in the first two weeks lifting the training up, with intensive training, and taking the risk to lose two games on the bounce. We nicked a point at Swindon, and I thought that with the training that we were doing by then for the home game last weekend, we were very unlucky. We lost 1-0 but we didn't really let chances take place for Crawley and we created five very good chances ourselves. I explained to the boys that not everything was bad. We'll take that positivity into the next game. We haven't changed training much at all. We've just reduced it a little bit (this week) so they're fresh for the game. We've got the day off tomorrow (Wednesday) and we're training on the way up to Crewe on Thursday afternoon.
TS: How difficult was it to pick the players up after Crawley? As you say, it probably could have gone either way, but in the end it didn't go Yeovil's way.
NM: I basically gave them Sunday off, so that I could sit down with Paul Terry and analyse the whole situation. We came up with a lot of positives that we've seen in the last three weeks. Basically we explained to them what we'd seen of positive change over the last three weeks. Going into the game on Friday they know they've got to get points. Just as probably Macclesfield know and Notts County as well. I think that if we do get a win, then a certain positivity would kick off really.
TS: I guess the thing that does need to change is goals. Yeovil have only scored two in the last seven, both from set pieces, and both from defenders. How much of a concern is that?
NM: That's what we've said to the boys. The key to the situation is that we've got to score goals. It doesn't matter who scores them. But I would be worried if we weren't creating any chances. We are creating chances, whether it's from set pieces or from open play. So basically the responsibility could be taken by someone, and who it is, it doesn't make any difference at all.
TS: How do you change that, because people will naturally look to the strikers, but goals don't naturally come from the strikers. It comes from all of the players on the pitch going forward. So what needs to change?
NM: I think over the last few weeks we've also worked on the delivery of free kicks and corners. Generally it hasn't changed from Darren's time - we practice finishing all the time. We've just got to be more ruthless in front of goal, and I'm sure that if we do get a goal before Crewe do, then we will take a positive attitude and our body language will change straight away. But the boys basically need to reward themselves.
TS: Looking at Crewe, they're a side that if you look at it on paper, they don't have anything to play for. They're not going for the play-offs, but they're not going to get relegated either. Are they the perfect team to be playing at this time?
NM: There's no perfect team really. On the one hand it could be positive, or it could be negative - they could play with freedom. Basically we've got to try to take the positive atmosphere away from them and try to turn it into a negative one, where they can't really be bothered. But it's a very important game obviously.
TS: What are their threats? Looking at the experience initially of Chris Porter and Jordan Bowery up front.
NM: Yes, that's exactly the strikers. They're very very quick. They're experienced, but not only that, they close teams down really quickly and try to regain the ball very quickly and make it into goal chances, so we've got to be on our front foot all the time.
TS: Yeovil have got a pretty good record against Crewe in League Two and also at their ground as well. Can you use that to give the players confidence going into this game?
NM: I don't know how many players have played at Crewe. I haven't checked that out. It makes no difference where we play at the moment. I just hope it's a good pitch. They try and play football, so hopefully that will be an advantage for ourselves.
TS: Looking at the fitness of your squad, how are they shaping up going into the match?
NM: Omar Sowunmi has been joining in today, and looks pretty fit. Alex Pattison is up for it as well. So there's only Rhys Browne, who is now three or four days away. So the whole squad is available.
TS: In terms of that, I know you've spoken before about Alcock and Dickinson and Zoko. What is their situation, in terms of their futures at Yeovil Town and playing in these last four games?
NM: Carl has been training with Port Vale. We gave him the opportunity to take a chance to get a new club for next year. We know that he's got a contract here, but he's got an opportunity to get a club somewhere near where he lives, then he's looking for that. Craig Alcock we've involved now with the Academy because he's looking at his coaching badges, and actually it's looking like Francois will be be joining us in the squad that travel to Crewe. He's trained very well this week. So we're going to look for his experience on the bench.
TS: How important is it to call on the experience of those players that have been in a relegation battle before? There are a lot of young players in this squad that haven't.
NM: Francois has been a warhorse for a long time in this club and he's scored a lot of goals and saved them in previous years. But I wasn't happy with how much running he was doing in training. I explained that to him. There was no animosity whatsoever. It's just the fact that I saw these things done. I explained to him that if he changed it, he'd got a chance. He has changed it this week so that's why he'll be involved in the next game that we've got.
TS: Just finally, I know a lot of fans have still been talking about the takeover and what's happening with that. Does anything change in terms of whether Yeovil Town are in this division or in the National League, in terms of the takeover?
NM: I don't think so, but I've never been involved in the politics anyway. I've been given a job to do. I'll do it to my best abilities. I'm 100 percent involved in it all, and making decisions that I feel are correct. I don't think about that at all. That will all fall into place I'm sure when they're sure exactly which league we're playing in.
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