"Things are looking up after a terrible start" - Yeovil Town v FC Halifax Town: Opposition Focus

Mark Cooper.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)Mark Cooper.  (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
Mark Cooper. (Photo by Dan Mullan/Getty Images)
We spoke to Sheridan Robins from BBC Radio Somerset for the lowdown on FC Halifax Town's opponents on Saturday.

How have Yeovil been doing of late, what kind of form will they go into Saturday's game in?

I think it is fair to say, there has been a stark improvement since the change in management. Yeovil have conceded just once in the past 3 games, and on Saturday became the first team since April 2021 to keep a clean sheet at Notts County. That is no mean feat, and with just one defeat in five - things are looking up after a terrible start.

What impact has Mark Cooper made since becoming manager?

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I don't think it is understating it to say it has been transformational. Results under Chris Hargreaves were always close, but the real change has been in the confidence of the team and the attacking additions he has brought in. Not only are Yeovil seeing the benefit of his experience of game management, but his contacts in football. He has signed four attacking options since he joined, and they have all made an impact. The connection between the side and the fans is also returning after quite a toxic couple of months.

What are the expectations among fans this season?

I think they pretty quickly adjusted after the poor start. Staying up is the priority now, and that was clear from the reaction at Huish Park to a crucial win over Gateshead in the last home game. Securing National League football next season, followed by a positive look at how things could look next season would be my thoughts on expectations.

What's the team's style of play, what can Halifax expect to come up against?

Mark Cooper has not been afraid to adapt. He has not put 'his' stamp on the team yet, because he is focused on getting results on any given day. So, with Gateshead, Yeovil utilised the width and took the game to them, scoring three goals. Against Notts County, a back five and a midfield four were tasked with sacrificing the ball to defend pretty much for 90 minutes, and they both worked for two big results. Against Halifax, I imagine Yeovil will revert back to a 4-3-3. Home wins are crucial when you are down the bottom.

Who will be your dangermen and why?

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New loan signing Andrew Oluwabori from Peterborough is one of those players that excites the fans and gets them on their feet. He is quick, comfortable on the ball and looks like he has to the ability to create some magic out of nothing. As he grows more aware of his teammates, he is sure to be a danger. Alex Fisher has also scored three goals since Mark Cooper took over and has been brilliant in attack.

How do you think they will approach Saturday's game?I think start quickly, try and get an early goal and settle the crowd. Defensively, Yeovil are excellent but they have struggled for goals so I imagine they will approach the game very simply. It has been all about crosses in the box and getting good deliveries in from set pieces.

Injuries/suspensions?I am writing this ahead of the weekly press conference but there are no suspensions. In terms of injuries Charlie Wakefield and Ben Richards Everton look to be a doubt. Skipper Josh Staunton - who Halifax know very well - could be a doubt after struggling in the last match.

Likely line-up and formation? Anyone's guess but my prediction would be 4-3-3 – Smith; Williams, Bevan, Hunt, Reckord; Staunton, Worthington, Andrews; Oluwabori, Fisher, Georgiou.

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What would a successful season be for the club?Securing a mid table finish. It is obviously not where the club wants to be, but given what has happened early in the season, and also concerns about the ownership of the club, that would be success.