By Tony Leighton
Yeovil Town have been riding a roller-coaster in the first half of the season, Gary Johnson's npower League 1 team having produced a set of League and Cup results that have fluctuated between fine winning runs and dispiriting sequences of defeats.
Manager Johnson, 11 months into his second spell at Huish Park - having led the Glovers from non-league up to League 1 in his previous four-year stint with the club - admits that his side have been "Barcelona some weeks and Rag-A**e Rovers others."
Johnson's men have been more Yo-Yo than Yeovil after kicking off the campaign with five wins from their first seven outings, the only defeat of which came against Premier League team West Bromwich Albion in the Capital One Cup.
Seven successive defeats followed the impressive start, Johnson's men free-falling from second in the table to 16th and only two points above the relegation zone.
A spirited revival then brought five wins and just one defeat - that away to League 1 leaders Tranmere Rovers - in their next six matches as the Glovers clawed their way back up to ninth place and just three points below the Play-Off positions.
But in their last nine League and Cup matches they have slid back to 14th and gone out of the FA Cup, though they have given themselves the consolation of reaching the semi-finals of the Johnstone's Paint Trophy's Southern Section.
As they head towards the second half of the season the Glovers are seven points short of the Play-Off places and eight points above the drop zone.
"That is us at the minute, we are a mid-table team," concedes Johnson, though the manager is determined to make his side into promotion contenders.
"The fact that we've seen our best game and the fact that our best game is up there with the best teams," he says assertively, "means that I've just got to try and get consistency out of the players to get us up there.
"I don't want to be 13th/14th in the League, I want to be competing with the top 10 teams at least. To do that we've got to try to be a team that can win three or four games on the trot to get ourselves into those Play-Off positions.
"At the moment we're proving that we're not good enough to win those three or four on the trot - but we're going to try blinking hard!"
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