Yeovil Town’s recent dip in form has brought the squad closer together and built character according to captain Jamie McAllister.
The Glovers started the season in scintillating fashion, topping the early npower League One table and racing to ten points from just four games. However, six straight defeats - the first three coming with McAllister suspended - threatened to undo their efforts before Colchester United were beaten 3-1.
With Yeovil now preparing to host Bury seven days after a 3-2 reverse at table-topping Tranmere Rovers, the skipper said a slump in results soon showed the men from the boys but also brought out a defiant response.
Despite the results and red card at Bristol Rovers in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, McAllister added that he was “loving” life with the Glovers and working again with his former Bristol City boss Gary Johnson.
The Scottish left back said: “I am loving it and it has been great. Obviously the red card came, there was a dip in form and that set us on a spin, which wasn’t great.
“But I think that brings the lads together, it builds team spirit and shows you who is up for it. It shows the true characters and I think we responded to come through it well. I think we are stronger for it and it is up to us to build on that.”
The 34-year-old who has been ever-present apart from his suspension also drew attention to the Glovers’ tricky start that has seen them lock horns with a series of the division’s big guns.
McAllister said: “I think it has been a difficult start for us if you look at the teams we have played. Out of the 11 games I think eight of them people would say will be in the top ten.
“We had the three teams that came down whilst MK Dons and Brentford were tipped to do well. It has been a difficult start for us but we have come through the other end and I think we can build on that start and go on a run of wins.”
So far this season the Glovers have started nine different players in defence, with Johnson shuffling his pack to accommodate loss of form, injury and suspension. McAllister - who made his name north of the border with the likes of Aberdeen, Livingstone and Hearts before joining City - hailed competition for places.
“It has been good and I think we have been looking strong as a unit again, as a team and as a back four,” he said. “We have got strength in depth and people like Luke Ayling and Byron Webster who have not been playing.
“Joe Edwards has come in and done well for us in recent games, whilst young Nathan Ralph played well when I was suspended. There is cover all over the back four and there is good competition.”
McAllister also expressed remorse for the dismissal at the Memorial Stadium, where he was adjudged to have lashed out at Rovers’ striker David Clarkson.
He said: “For me it was something and nothing. The referee’s assistant gave it. I had the ball and wanted to stop them making a quick throw-in. Two of their players grabbed me from behind and it was just a natural reaction for me to push them off.
“It was obviously disappointing and not something I am proud of but you move on and learn from it.”