Yeovil Town have every right to consider themselves favourites for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy when they start the road to Wembley at Bristol Rovers tonight, according to their manager.
The Glovers enter the competition for npower League One and Two sides joint top of the third tier of English football, behind Tranmere Rovers on goal difference.
Boss Gary Johnson said their current league standing should make them a favoured side, but warned Rovers will be one of 41 other clubs trying to shoot them down.
“We had a good pre-season game against them,” he said. “It’s one to look forward to and they have got a lot of players I have worked with before so I know the mentality and Mark McGhee has brought in three or four winners.
“We obviously want to progress and a good competitive football match is what is on the cards.
“The directors will want a run in one of the cups at least. If it is only first and second division teams we are favourites because we are top at this point and if we stay top we will be favourites to win this competition.
“There will be a lot of other teams that will want a say in that, but positionally we will be favourites.”
The Glovers topped League One for the first time in their history at the end of last month before Tranmere’s 4-0 weekend success and Yeovil’s 2-1 defeat of Doncaster Rovers saw the Wirral outfit leapfrog the Huish Park side.
Johnson joked that his history as a former Bristol City manager and previous visits to the Memorial Stadium with Yeovil promised him a vociferous welcome, saying the local derby will have an “edge”.
He said: “They always welcome me with open arms and I always feel very comfortable walking across that pitch to the fans behind the dugout.
“He (McGhee) has done a great job there. It will be a good game because both team will want to progress. There is always a good atmosphere at Bristol Rovers and I am looking forward to going there.
“We have got to make sure there is an edge on every game but certainly Yeovil v Bristol Rovers has that ring.
“Mark McGhee isn’t quite the same personality as Ian Atkins and I am sure proper things will be said in the dressing room and everything will be about the football rather than things on the periphery.”
Johnson said he would not let his team’s lofty league position be a distraction, adding: “It is too easy to start dreaming, we have got to start enjoying the performances and enjoying the results and try and get a few more people through the gate.
“If we can we can keep it going. The next game is Bristol Rovers and that is really important because it is a Wembley final and that will be nice for the lads so we would like to do well in that.”
Yeovil Town from: Stech, Stewart, Ayling, McAllister, Hinds, Webster, Marsh-Brown, Ince, Blizzard, Upson, Foley, Young, Hayter, Reid, Ralph, Ugwu, Nkumu.
For pre-match team news and live match updates from Western Gazette sports writer Chris Sweet, keep checking This is Somerset tonight.