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Johnson sees Yeovil as favourites for JPT ahead of first-round trip to Rovers

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: September 04, 2012

Yeovil Town boss Gary Johnson   picture: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle

Yeovil Town boss Gary Johnson picture: Phil Mingo/Pinnacle

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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. We are favourites in this cup because we are joint-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 on goal difference.

Johnson joked that his history as Bristol City manager and previous visits to the Memorial Stadium with Yeovil promised a vociferous welcome, saying the local derby will have an "edge".

He added: They always welcome me with open arms and I always feel very comfortable walking across that pitch to the fans behind the dug-out.

"Mark [McGhee] has done a great job there. It will be a good game because both teams will want to progress. There is always a good atmosphere at Bristol Rovers and I'm looking forward to going there.

"We have got to make sure there is an edge to every game, but certainly Yeovil against Bristol Rovers has that ring.

"Mark isn't quite the same personality as [former Rovers boss] Ian Atkins, and I am sure proper things will be said in the dressing room and everything will be about the football."

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 to get a few more people through the gate.

"The next game is Bristol Rovers and that is really important because the target 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.

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