Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has admitted his side is going through a bit of a 'blip' in form, but points out that most of his rivals are as well. The Glovers promotion hopes have hit the buffers slightly this week, having slipped out of the play-off slots on goal difference, and by being on a run of form that has seen them clock up just one win in their last six games.
However, with Tranmere Rovers having lost seven of their last ten matches, Sheffield United having been thrashed 4-0 last weekend, Bournemouth having recently lost five games in a row, Doncaster Rovers having three wins in their last ten games, and Swindon Town barely better with four victories in their last eleven, this is a promotion pack full of sides feeling the strain.
Johnson has told BBC Somerset that although his own club's form is shaky that with other sides also slipping up, any team that gets a couple of wins in their next few games is going to get an advantage:
"You could be interviewing any manager at the minute at our level and they'd all be saying the same. They're all having a blip. I don't know who's winning the games, because everyone is saying that they're having a bit of a blip. But we've only lost two in our last ten, so you can make statistics do what you like even though I know we've only won one in our last five or six. But we're still up there with everybody else. The next couple of wins are going to be vital."
Despite that, Gary explains that he is far from happy with his club's current seventh placed position in the table, given that as it stands it would not secure his team a place in the play-offs. Although Yeovil Town are probably the least fancied team in the top pack of clubs, he says he would still see that position as a failure if it was maintained:
"We brought this group in to compete at this level. That's what we want to do. I don't want to be seventh and have everyone say it's been a great season - that's unlucky. I don't want to be unlucky. I didn't come back here to be unlucky. If we don't get promoted then we've failed. I genuinely think that. I want to think that, and they've got to know that we've failed as well, because we brought them in here to get a promotion."
Snowfall around the country, including up in Cumbria, means that the club will have an anxious wait overnight to see what happens to the Brunton Park pitch, which is reportedly being left uncovered overnight. Gary added that his team would not focus on that too much, and would prepare entirely as if the game is definitely on:
"We've got to assume that the game is going to go ahead. We've had a couple of long trips where it's been a bit dodgy. Hartlepool was nearly off, then we went to Oldham and that was off. But we still kept trying to do the right things. Hopefully the only 'weather' the boys will be thinking about is 'whether' the manager picks them or not."
Going back to the current League One form table, aside from second-placed Brentford, the two clubs to keep an eye on, are Walsall (10th and four points behind Yeovil) and Leyton Orient (9th and three points behind). The pair are the two clubs currently taking advantage of numerous top six slip-ups, threatening to rein in what had appeared to be a seven-horse race a few weeks ago. If they maintain their current form, then those competing for promotion could rise to around ten clubs as we move into the final half dozen games of the season.
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