Yeovil Town manager Gary Johnson has acknowledged the need to balance the workload of his thin squad after a busy start to the season.
The Glovers have been in action twice every week over the last month and heading into Saturday’s match against local rivals AFC Bournemouth, Johnson hopes to have rested his players adequately in order to avoid them burning out in the early stages of the campaign.
He said: “It is a big game and we have to decide what we do with the lads – whether we run them into the ground or whether we give them time off.
“Hopefully we can mentally give them a bit of a break because we have been playing Saturday, Tuesday, Saturday, Tuesday, working very hard and getting our results and working very hard on our organisation.
“Tuesday (the club’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy First Round victory over Bristol Rovers) was nearly a game too far but we managed to win it and we have got to be ready for Bournemouth because it is a massive game for us.”
Johnson hopes the local derby will encourage a larger turnout at Huish Park for the fixture as attendances continue to fluctuate. Almost 3,000 fewer supporters turned up for last weekend’s win over Doncaster Rovers than for the Capital One Cup tie with West Bromwich Albion the previous Tuesday.
“Once again it would nice to get a good atmosphere at Huish Park,” he said. “Hopefully a few people saved their money against Doncaster and will turn up against Bournemouth.
“It will be a good game. I hope they were watching on Tuesday, but it is generally two good footballing sides playing against each other and I think they will be one of the favourites as well come the end of the season.”
The former Bristol City and Peterborough United manager admitted he is still uncertain on when Gavin Williams will make a return to action.
The former Ipswich and Bristol City attacker is yet to feature this season as he continues to recover from a torn calf muscle which he suffered in pre-season.
“One minute we are supposed to be working him hard, one minute we are supposed to be resting him,” said Johnson.
“They don’t think it is anything more than a swelling of the calf. He is on anti-inflammatories and that is what he has got to have. We don’t think he is far away but you have heard that before.”
Yeovil defender Jamie McAllister will miss the next three matches after being sent off in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy win at Bristol Rovers.
Bournemouth will be without Eunan O‘Kane due to international commitments while Frank Demouge and Charile Sheringham are long-term absentees.
Defender Charlie Daniels is a doubt with a hamstring injury so Steve Cook could again deputise at left-back.