Big match preview: Yeovil Town boss Darren Way desperate to beat Mansfield Town

Stags' Danny Rose battles with Yeovil's Omar Sowunmi as David Flitcroft urges him on in the fixture last season
Stags' Danny Rose battles with Yeovil's Omar Sowunmi as David Flitcroft urges him on in the fixture last season

Yeovil Town manager Darren Way will be desperate for a win against Mansfield Town tomorrow to help keep the club’s supporters onside.

After a couple of seasons of real struggle, patience was wavering with some fans and there were a couple of small demonstrations and protests asking for Way and chairman Harry Fry to leave.

That frustration has cooled somewhat for now after the impressive and optimistic pre-season with what looks to have been good business in the market, but results now need to follow otherwise the fans will quickly turn back to their frustration.

So Saturday’s 1-0 defeat at Bury in the opening game, where the Glovers, also had two men sent off, has piled on the pressure to impress against the Stags.

During pre-season Way was hoping for a play-off push or at least a top half finish, and there was an air of optimism around the club following a last minute defeat to Swansea City, draws with both Bristol sides and a comprehensive 5-1 thrashing of Plymouth Argyle before a few victories over non-League sides.

Against Bury Yeovil looked fairly solid.

Nathan Baxter, on loan from Chelsea, was making his debut in place of injured keeper Stuart Nelson and made a couple of smart saves.

It was a fairly quiet affair but Yeovil looked to grow into it at the beginning of the second half and Francois Zoko had an effort tipped onto the bar.

The game changed when Tom James was dismissed for a second yellow for a late challenge nine minutes into the half and then Jordan Green was given a straight red 13 minutes later for a heavy lunge whilst trying to win the ball back after over-running it.

After that it was more of a defensive job and they held out until the final minute which, against a newly relegated side looking to get back into League One and considering Yeovil’s away form for much of last season, is probably not too bad a result in the circumstances.

They relied a lot on their home form for large parts of last season so will need to try and kickstart their season on Saturday.

One of the other things that cost them at times last season was their discipline and it’s already looking like they fall on that once again.

But if they can sort that out then they should become a tough team to beat.

Tom James and Jordan Green will be suspended for Saturday and Jake Gray and James Bailey are still out injured.

Stuart Nelson (calf) and Rhys Browne (hamstring) missed the Bury game but could be back for Saturday.

If Nelson is fit he’ll start ahead of Baxter in goal.

Omar Sowunmi returns from suspension and will come back into the centre of defence.

Shaun Donnellan began alongside Bevis Mugabi against Bury and Mugabi will probably get pushed out to the right to replace James and then it would be a close decision to see if Donnellan keeps his place or whether Gary Warren comes in after coming on as a substitute against Bury and ending up with the captain’s armband which shows Way must believe he has leadership qualities.

Carl Dickinson will keep his place on the left.

Sessi D’Almeida and Alefe Santos seem to be Way’s preferred central midfield pairing at the moment and ex-Stag Yoann Arquin could keep his place on the left.

If Browne is fit he may come in and play on the wing in place of Green, potentially on the right.

In pre-season Way liked playing Francois Zoko and Diallang Jaiyesimi up front together, Jaiyesimi just playing behind, so it would be likely that they continue.

So far Yeovil have brought in 10 players this summer.

Nathan Baxter (goalkeeper) on loan from Chelsea, Carl Dickinson (defender) on a free from Notts County, Gary Warren (defender) on a free from Inverness, Sessi D’Almeida (midfielder) on a free from Blackpool, Reece Cole (midfielder) on loan from Brentford, Wes McDonald (midfielder) on a free from Birmingham City, Alex Pattison (midfielder) on loan from Middlesbrough, Yoann Arquin (winger/attacker) who was a free agent after leaving from Kazakstan side FC Kaysar, Korrey Henry (striker) on a free from West Ham’s academy and Diallang Jaiyesimi (striker) on loan from Norwich City.

As well as last season’s loan signings, Yeovil released Artur Krysiak, Nathan Smith, Ryan Dickson, Dan Alfei and Oscar Gobern and then went went on to sell Otis Khan to Mansfield.

Omar Sowunmi at centre back is probably considered as Yeovil’s current star man.

He received plenty of player of the season awards last season and the 22-year-old has recently been named captain behind club captain Zoko.

He performed solidly last season and became one of the first names on the teamsheet.

After a bit of a saga regarding signing a contract extension, Sowunmi signed and look to continue to grow as he’s still only 22.

At 6ft 6ins he’s rather a handful and serves as an aerial presence in both boxes, and has been known to play as an emergency striker when Yeovil have needed a goal late on.

Another one to watch out for is 18-year-old Korrey Henry, who has arrived from West Ham’s academy and is looking to make a mark in senior football.

He has already proven he knows where the goal is by being the top goalscorer in pre-season and, given the chance by Way, he could become a very successful striker that scores goals.