YEOVIL Town cannot use off-field issues at Saints as motivation ahead of the club’s “hardest week in history” according to manager Gary Johnson.
The Glovers travel to St Mary’s in the FA Cup tomorrow before visiting promotion-chasing Derby County and Nottingham Forest in the Sky Bet Championship on Tuesday and Sunday respectively.
Johnson’s men eventually return to Huish Park for the first time since January 11 on February 8 to face Leeds United.
Although Saints have dominated headlines with first the resignation of former chairman Nicola Cortese and then the suspension of Dani Osvaldo for a training ground head-butt on Jose Fonte, Johnson said Yeovil need to stay “optimistically realistic”.
“We’ve probably got the hardest week or so in our history, with Southampton, Derby, Nottingham Forest and then Leeds after that but we’ve got to believe we can get something and give it a go,” he said.
“You can’t use it (off-field news) as a weakness on their part because if you go there and think they’re weak in any department you’re going to become unstuck, that’s for sure.
“You go there, you’re playing a Premier League team with world class players and they’re in the top ten in the strongest league in the world.
“I’m not going as a shrinking violet, I don’t want to sound a shrinking violet, but you’ve got to be optimistically realistic.”
Nottingham Forest loanee Ishmael Miller is on course to make the first start of his second loan spell, with Johnson delighted to have boosted both numbers and attacking options.
Speaking to the local Yeovil newspaper Western Gazette, he said: “It’s big boost because our squad is not big enough anyway, in both senses as in numbers and presence.
“Kieffer Moore has suddenly come to the fore and we’re really pleased with that because the more players we can class as first team players the better.
“We’ve got some big games coming up - Southampton away, Derby County away and Nottingham Forest away.
“You’re going to need a squad with the game plan we need to play and against those teams you are going to have to work really hard, so we need a full squad.”