Yeovil Town manager Darren Way admits that his side are under pressure going into Good Friday's match against Newport County. The Glovers trip to Rodney Parade to play the team in 23rd position has become somewhat of a cup final for the Glovers, and certainly a 'must not lose' game, where victory would put them ten points ahead of the Exiles with four games remaining, but where defeat would leave them only four points above the drop zone with four games remaining.
As such, regardless of how other games progress up and down the country, tomorrow's match is very much a 'six pointer', sparked by Newport winning their last two matches, whilst Yeovil Town have lost their last two, slicing a thirteen point advantage down to just seven, and thus setting up the match in South Wales to suddenly be a key game in the 2016-17 season. Way says that means there is pressure riding on the game, but not anything that can't be expected in football:
"It's all of us, and unfortunately that's the pressure. If you don't like that pressure then there's no point in going into football. Pressure is everywhere now, as far as when you're a player, for performance. But what we have done is certainly I've tried to get the players to focus upon their performance, and then nine times out of ten that takes care of results. They know what the consequences are. Should it have been done a lot longer ago? Yes. But unfortunately I knew that certainly the last ten games were going to be very testing, as a manager, because I've been at this football club for a long time."
Newport have recently changed management teams, with Mike Flynn and Wayne Hatswell taking over from Graham Westley seven matches ago. Most Glovers fans will know the style of play that Westley adopted - Way suggests that is still very much in force at Rodney Parade even under the new management:
"They're very physical and they like to play the ball forward early. They play that ball into the final third and pick up seconds. There's plenty of flight balls, because of the surface of their pitch, which has been talked about all season now. When you speak to other managers that have played on it, then it becomes a percentage game, with long throws and stop-starts. We know what we're coming up against and we've prepared very well this week and we're ready for a challenge."
The Glovers are expected to travel with only club captain Darren Ward firmly ruled out of action. His replacement captain Ryan Dickson was also absent last weekend with an ankle injury, but with Nathan Smith, Alex Lawless and Otis Khan all on the bench last week, the squad was close to full strength - Shayon Harrison had a short term illness but should be okay to return. So the only question mark is whether a week's rest has been enough for Dickson to recover from that niggling ankle issue, unless the club have picked up any new injury problems this week. Bournemouth loanee Ben Whitfield will sit out the second of a three match suspension on Friday. Midfielder Joe Lea is the only other absentee, as part of his loan spell with Gosport Borough.
Link: Ciderspace Guide To Newport County.
Link: Ticketing For Newport County vs Yeovil Town.
Link: GWSC Travel For Newport County vs Yeovil Town.
Link: Officials For Newport County vs Yeovil Town.
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