Yeovil Town manager Darren Way says that his side need to be challenging for a play-off place next season. Despite having spent the majority of the 2017-18 season hovering around their current 18th spot, the Glovers boss claimed "there's not a huge difference" between his side and teams like Tuesday night's opponents Accrington Stanley, who gained promotion to League One on the night.
Way has put great emphasis on how young and inexperienced his first team squad are this season, using that to back up his views on why his team are not up at the right end of the League Two table. He told BBC Somerset that the goal had to be to hit a top seven place during the 2018-19 season that would guarantee themselves a place in the play-offs. He said he was 'sick' of players trying, but not succeeding, and said that next season he would expect them to provide that:
"I'm sick of players trying, and I want them doing. That's got to be the case next year. I don't want to blame the system or the young players. We've managed to get two year contracts now, which is good, which Accrington have put in place, and Wycombe put in place. But I think that next year the pressure has to be on a top seven. Anyone who can't provide that, they shouldn't be involved, because that's where we're aiming for."
Way suggested that the main difference between Accrington Stanley and his own club was a belief system. He believed that his club was making steps towards that point, but admitted that last Tuesday's opponents had to be the benchmark that his team had to reach:
"When I look at the top teams, there's not a huge difference, apart from it's a group of players that believe. Accrington was perfect for us, as far as what you can achieve. We've been in that situation before. I've been there as a player, and I've been there as a coach, so I know exactly what it feels like and it's a real good feeling. It's created by unity. I think we're making steps towards it. That's what we are trying to achieve next year. When I look at the Accrington game, it must be a benchmark for us."
The Glovers will get another opportunity to benchmark themselves against top seven opposition tomorrow when they come up against fifth placed Notts County. At present the Magpies look as though they will have to settle for a play-off spot at the end of the season, lying five points short of the automatic positions, although with a six point buffer between themselves and the eighth place spot.
This is not the first time that Darren Way has targeted promotion for his side, having done so in a March 2017 interview, at the tail end of the 2016-17 season. During that interview, he described a three-part process that the club had been going through, stating that last season had been the implementation of Part Two. He said that "Part Three is to keep those (player) assets and push for promotion next year" believing that the addition of one or two players would resolve his side's tendency to draw too many games that season. However, this latest target is far more explicit in the manner that Way has outlined it.
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