Despairing Johnson seeks two loan signings to bolster Glovers' squad
Manager Gary Johnson wants to add two new faces to his Yeovil Town squad before this weekend’s daunting npower League One trip to Sheffield United, with players also set to leave Huish Park.
The Glovers’ boss was left dismayed by his team’s fight during their 1-0 defeat to ten-man Leyton Orient in Tuesday’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy southern semi-final.
After David Mooney’s 89th-minute header had settled the clash, Johnson re-iterated his desire to improve the quality of the squad but suggested they were likely to be loan deals.
“Professional football is such that it does not quite work out and the ending is not a happy one, and with this one at Leyton Orient certainly was not,” he said.
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“We will have to wait and see how we rally these troops, and look to bring another couple in because that is what it looks like we are going to have to do.
“We know players, and we will of course be looking to do what we can. There are a lot of loans out there but there are not many full transfers in January without having to pay through the nose.”
Johnson added the players he believed are not up to standard could be told they are surplus to requirements in the coming days. While not naming those concerned, Keanu Marsh-Brown has not made a match-day squad since the Boxing Day trip to AFC Bournemouth.
The festive defeat was also the last time striker Reuben Reid featured, Johnson even opting to field fit-again left back Nathan Ralph in attack during the second half at Orient ahead of the former West Bromwich Albion man.
Johnson said: “I have got to start telling now anyone who is not going to be involved. How quickly we can do it, I don’t know.”
Doubts surround midfielder Ed Upson’s fitness ahead of Saturday’s game at Sheffield United, after a knee injury forced his withdrawal shortly after half-time on Tuesday. Dominic Blizzard also required treatment and Gavin Williams again failed to complete 90 minutes as he continues to manage ankle and calf muscle problems.
Johnson lambasted his growing walking wounded, stating there were too many players with ongoing issues that damaged match planning. He also voiced disappointment that these knocks were not necessarily being sustained by his team putting themselves in the line of fire.
Johnson said: “We’ve got a few that have got niggles that are not quite up for it because they are limping from early on. At one point on Tuesday we had Gav limping, Ed limping, Blizzard limping and [Sam] Foley limping. It was just one of those days.
“They were only things that happened in the game but it did not make for a strong performance for us. That’s not an excuse, by the way, that is a disappointment to me when that happens because I want to see people get injured in the penalty areas, not outside when there is a tackle or something that someone has had for a little while.”
Johnson asked questions of the players’ commitment following defeat at Brisbane Road as again the Glovers crumbled in a big game. Not even 815 travelling fans that accounted for almost a third of the overall attendance could inspire Yeovil, leaving the Yeovil boss dismayed.
“The team that was out there should have gone and looked like they wanted to really win the game,” he said.
“There is never a lack of effort, but it’s about going beyond the call of duty. That’s why some of these lads haven’t won anything yet.
“They need to learn to be winners in these types of competitions, and that is what we’ve got to try and bring to our club or put into those that manage to stick around. There is a lot to be done and, when it comes down to it, it is these types of games where they need to step forward, but they don’t seem to have the character to take it on board.”