In the past few years, Yeovil fans have got used to seeing their team struggle. It has all been a bit ugly at Huish Park since their promotion to the Championship in 2013, but there is a real belief that things could be better this time around.
The Glovers immediately returned to League One after their promotion to the Championship. This got worse the next season, as they were sent down again, finishing bottom of the third division. There has been no let up since then, and the Glovers have been involved in relegation battles in each of their three seasons back in League Two, with their highest finish in that time being 19th.
There is certainly an improvement this season, most notably defensively, and they have kept clean sheets in each of their last four league games. On-loan Chelsea ‘keeper Nathan Baxter has been superb in goal, coming in to the side in place of Stuart Nelson, who is missing with injury. Carl Dickinson and Gary Warren have been good additions at the back, and their experience has proved vital, particularly in improving the performances of Omar Sowumni.
There have also been big changes in midfield, with Sessi D’Almeida and Alex Pattison, on-loan from Middlesbrough, forming an excellent partnership in the centre of the park. It is an entirely new midfield, with new signings Yoann Arquin and Wes McDonald likely to be the first choice wingers when fit. Diallang Jaiyesimi is the final new name in the XI, forming a good partnership with Alex Fisher at the start of the season.
What is new this year is the strength in depth of this side. Omari Patrick came off the bench to score the winner against Grimsby Town last week, and Olefela Olomola also came on, just a day after returning to the club on loan from Scunthorpe United. For the first time in a while, there is backup in pretty much every position on the pitch, and although it may not be the strongest squad in League Two, they shouldn’t be in the position where they can only name five substitutes this season, as was the case last year.
There is a feeling that League Two is quite open this year. Lincoln City are favourites after spending big in the summer, and have started well. Notts County have been truly shocking however, and they look more likely to be battling out at the other end of the table. As for the rest, there is an awful lot to fight for.
I’m not saying Yeovil should be challenging for promotion, far from it, but this is the best team Yeovil have had since their relegation to League Two. Mid-table would be a good finish for the Glovers this season, and that should be the realistic target. However, this side do seem to be growing with every game, so a play-off push isn’t entirely out of the question. Put simply, I would be more than happy with a mid-table finish as things stand now, but ask me again in a couple of months.
Picture Credit: Yeovil Town