Johnson is eager to take on Di Canio
Gary Johnson takes his Yeovil Town side to Swindon Town tomorrow believing his team have a chance of achieving what few others have had this season – winning at the Wiltshire venue.
Under their volatile manager, Paolo Di Canio, the Robins are sixth in npower League One, and have lost only twice at the County Ground in the division this term.
Johnson backed Di Canio’s men to be challenging for promotion in May, but also stated his confidence in his side’s weekend hopes.
“I think it will be a good match,” he said. “Both teams will look to play a bit and they have got a strong team. It will be a decent game.
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“I think they will be there or thereabouts, and just the players they are talking about bringing in will enhance their challenge.
“Credit to them for that but we have got a chance to do something that not many teams have done and get a result at Swindon’s ground.”
The Italian swooped for two loan signings yesterday, when Norwich City striker Chris Martin and Charlton Athletic midfielder Danny Hollands made moves to Wiltshire, but an attempt to borrow forward Gary Madine from Sheffield Wednesday fell through.
Johnson added he was also looking forward to going toe-to-toe with Di Canio for the first time. “I’m going to enjoy it,” he said. “I find him more entertaining than irritating and I enjoy watching him, which is always from the comfort of the armchair at home.
“You can only applaud what he has done and you have to respect what he has done as a player, for Swindon and what he has done for the club.
“Hopefully we can be there or thereabouts to give him a good match. It will be good if we can see the more frustrated Paolo Di Canio rather than the happier one.”
Lewis Young and Nathan Ralph are unlikely to play for Yeovil again this year as they continue to battle for fitness.
Winger Young was carried from the pitch during the League One home game against Portsmouth at the start of the month, and was eventually diagnosed with ankle ligament damage.
Full-back Ralph enjoyed a run in the starting XI while captain Jamie McAllister was suspended, but then had to undergo surgery to remove a cyst from his knee.
Johnson said of his two summer signings: “We probably won’t see them until January, unfortunately. It is a shame because I thought both were doing OK.”
On-loan Reading striker Gozie Ugwu, however, is closer to being in contention for selection, after recovering from a hamstring injury.