Johnson urges Glovers to keep the faith against Milton Keynes
Yeovil Town's players have been told to keep believing and to travel to Milton Keynes Dons as underdogs more than capable of an upset.
The Glovers head east on the back of their first npower League One defeat of the season, caused by arguably their worst performance of the campaign to date.
Richard Hughes' free-kick was enough for AFC Bournemouth to take the points last weekend at Huish Park as the Cherries caused Gary Johnson's men endless problems with their shape and passing.
Town's manager blasted his team as unrecognisable from the side he knew, but said they could not be too dismayed with ten points from their first five games. However, he demanded better from the weekend trip to stadium:MK, the scene of one of their most memorable victories of last season.
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The Glovers played for more than an hour with ten men following Tottenham Hotspur loanee Dean Parrett's dismissal, with Gavin Williams' goal and Sam Walker's penalty save proving the difference.
Johnson said: "It's a real tough place to go and, if you look at three of our four games – Bournemouth, Sheffield United and MK Dons – they are going to be three teams that will definitely be there or thereabouts.
"We know that, they are three of the teams with big budgets and big squads. MK Dons brought in Alan Smith and Jimmy Bullard to go along with the players already there, so they are going to be formidable opposition.
"That's fact, but we go there as the underdogs and we mustn't go there with the feeling that we're going to get beaten. We didn't last year – last year in adversity we came through with the sending-off and the penalty save.
"We're going to need that spirit and we're going to need to make sure we have our fair share of the play, which is what I will be looking for."
Johnson blamed mental and physical exhaustion for his team's demise against the Cherries but emphasised it should be a one-off as he looks to make the most of the first week since the start of term without a Tuesday fixture.
"We worked very hard on a few things for the simple reason I didn't recognise any part of our game last Saturday," he said. "No section of our team was producing on the day. They have held their hands up and we knew that on the day we were second best.
"We allowed their shape to affect us a lot more than the other way around, when our game has been affecting other teams. We didn't have anyone who could come out and produce something that would get us the game back, be it a strong tackle, a big dribble, a great shot – anything that would have got us buzzing again.
"Unfortunately it didn't happen on the day, but we cannot do anything more than what we have done this week to put it right. We mustn't stop believing in ourselves because we had one poor game.
"We are still up there, we are still challenging, and that's where we want to be for the whole season. We are not going to lose faith or confidence in each other, but at the same time we've got to be honest in our assessment of our performances."
Defender Byron Webster successfully negotiated 90 minutes against Bournemouth despite struggling to breathe in his previous outing, while attacker Williams was expected to make his return to training this week after an injection to a calf muscle.
Johnson said his side enter the weekend striving for full fitness, suggesting a number of players would have struggled to have completed another midweek clash.
"There are always little niggles and knocks that people get when they are playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday," he said. "We have had a few more days, which is nice, and if we'd had a game on Tuesday we would have had a few struggling. We've got a game on Saturday where we should have a fitter bill of health."