The Opposition View: Yeovil Town

Last updated : 19 February 2016 By Jim Bonner

What are Yeovil's chances of staying in the Football League this season and why has it gone so wrong?

For me, our chances of survival are about 50:50 at the moment and I’m changing my mind every day. We’ve shown considerable improvement under Darren Way but last week’s loss at Hartlepool was a major setback. There are still a lot of games to go but with other teams at the bottom starting to find some form it will be a tight finish, and I'm just hoping we find ourselves on the right side of the dotted line.

As for what’s gone wrong this season; pretty much everything! A massive squad overhaul in the summer followed by a considerable injury list and Paul Sturrock’s approach seemed negative and out-dated as well as an apparent inability to motivate a struggling team which has led to questions over whether he was well enough to manage.

However, the overall decline we’ve seen over the last couple of seasons has fingers of blame pointing at the board reflected by the recent vote to set up a supporter’s trust.

What's your opinion on former Pompey players Ryan Bird, Jack Compton and Wes Fogden now you've had a good amount of time to assess them?

Ryan Bird has been one of the few players to come out of the first half of the season with any credit, although he is rather limited as a footballer he certainly knows how to score. Jack Compton has been impressive when he’s played and certainly seems to suit Way’s 4-3-3 formation, but he’s picked up a knock and will not be able to play on Saturday.

Wes Fogden is also injured, he’s full of running but he has never really had a settled spot in the team and it is difficult to see where he will fit in the new system.

What are the biggest strengths and weaknesses of this current Yeovil side and who are the key players?

I would say our biggest strength has been our ability to keep fighting in games, highlighted by the Wimbledon game where we went behind twice but kept going to eventually win 3-2.

Probably our biggest weakness recently has been our vulnerability at set-pieces, but with Darren Ward returning we might see an improvement on that front.

One to watch for us is Liam Walsh, an 18-year-old midfielder on loan from Everton who is very much a player in Way’s own image. He’s not afraid of a challenge and has the ability to quickly turn defence into attack.

The reverse fixture saw Yeovil come to Fratton Park, sit back and frustrate Pompey before earning a goalless draw. Will Saturday's game follow a similar pattern or will you come out and attack us given your situation?

Way has us playing a much more positive style of football than we saw under Sturrock so I expect us to press and attack a lot more than we did during the game at Fratton Park.

What are the best places of interest/pubs to visit for the visiting Pompey fans on Saturday?

As Huish Park is a fair way from the town centre and away fans are unlikely to be allowed into the marquee at the ground, your pub choices are limited. The Bell, The Arrow, and The Airfield Tavern are within walking distance.

As for places of interest there aren’t many in Yeovil itself, but the surrounding area is picturesque and includes the impressive Montacute House. Weymouth is half an hour away if you fancy a trip to the seaside.

Predict the outcome of the game.

I’ll go for a highly optimistic 2-1 win.