Ciderspace News Page : Gary's career-changing game
24 March 2003 : Gary's career-changing game
Yeovil boss Gary Johnson talked to Phil Tottle of BBC Radio Bristol following Saturday's 2-1 win against Margate.

Commenting on the effect that the dismissal of Margate's John Keister for a second bookable offence had on the match, Gary admitted: "Games do change on those sort of things. I was just a bit disappointed at half time because good players have to be able to adapt to all pitches. Sometimes you can play the short game but other times you have to play the long game. But it doesn't matter whether it's a short ball or a long ball, your quality has got to be the same. Our quality in the first half was not good enough."

"Margate had their chance and took it. But we hit the crossbar a couple of times and the boys showed great athleticism and fitness towards the end. I know Margate were down to ten men, but that's the way games go. Someone has got sent off because he has lunged in on a couple of tackles."

Asked to comment specifically on the referee's performance in the match Gary made the following points: "There wasn't a bad tackle in the game, and it seemed a bit strange. The referee's have got to know how important these games are, and when these teams are wasting time and in particular who is wasting time and for what reason. Don't add it all on when we are 2-1 up when we are wanting the game to finish, given those were the minutes they were trying to waste."

"Margate were wasting time, and the last minutes of the game were because they were wasting time in the first part of the half. So really that should have been our time and not theirs!"

"But credit to the lads, those are the sort of games where if you are going to win the league, you have to come back from those. Their fellow has made two fouls, and that's why I took Muzzie off because I couldn't afford him mistiming a tackle. So unfortunately for him, I had to take him off. But we rallied round, there was a lot of screaming and shouting and we had to get angry on the line because we had to up it a little. The players had to get aggressive out there without getting angry and to be fair, they did that and we had two great goals from Jacko."

"I think what you've seen out there is a group of lads who are desperate to get to where we want to be. With all due respect, we don't want to come back to places like this. We want to go up a division. We feel we are good enough and today we showed that if we go a goal down, we still have the spirit. I am very proud of them."

"Jimmy Aggrey did a good job. Their two forwards looked very lively. Sigere and Braithwaite are both quick and good on the ball. But overall we just about had enough quality on the pitch to go out and win the game. That was fantastic for our supporters again who have turned out in force, even thought it feels like a million miles away from home. They've been magnificent and I'm so pleased we have rewarded them with two goals at their end."

"I've always got faith in the players, and I always felt we had at least a goal in us and that if we did get that one that we would lay siege on their penalty box, because Margate's spirit would be gone. That's exactly what happened."

"It was a career changing game. I said that before the game, and I really did feel that about today. We needed to win that game so desperately, and the result may change a few peoples careers."

Speaking about the tactical substitution of Neil Mustoe, Gary said: "He'd given a few balls away at the time and I didn't feel it was quite happening. I've got good players on the bench and I don't need to keep players on there for whom it's not happening. More to the point, I couldn't afford a sending off. We had to win the game. It was so important to us and I couldn't take any chances."

Gary played down the seriousness of the injury to Terry Skiverton, saying, " He has five stitches, but Skivo is OK. Any injuries to his head and he is OK! Once I saw blood coming out of his head I knew it was a bad cut. They were just about to plant a free kick into our penalty area, and at 2-0 we would have lost the game. If I haven't got the kind of players who are capable of replacing the players who are out there on the pitch, then I just as well not put them on the bench. When Jimmy came on I knew he would do a good job, and he did it."

Kirk Jackson was praised by Johnson for the quality of the goals scored: "Two great finishes. The lads will tell you that we've been working hard on our finishing all week. Not just kicking it but guiding the ball in there into the net. I felt both finishes were guided into the back of the net which was lovely. They were two great finishes just when we needed them."

"Kirk's going for the Golden Boot. He wants it and I'm happy for him to think that way because they means he'll get in on everything in the penalty area and pick up little bits whether they are deflections or rebounds."

Finally Gary paid tribute to substitute Chris Giles, playing his first game since his return from a loan spell at Gravesend: "We knew on that pitch we had to go a little bit longer and Gilesy is the sort of boy to come in and get his head on things. I thought he did very well. He kept the ball in the penalty area a couple of times for us and I'm really pleased with him."


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