“NEVER go back,” warns the old footballing adage but Gary Johnson last night insisted he had no qualms about returning to Yeovil Town.
Johnson, who takes charge of the League One strugglers for the first time in nearly seven years against Sheffield United this evening, was yesterday unveiled as Terry Skiverton’s successor following whirlwind negotiations with the Huish Park board.
“It definitely feels like coming home,” Johnson said. “That’s for sure.
“I’ve been saying it’s like being in that film, Cocoon, because nobody has got any older.
“Six years on and everybody still looks the same.”
Johnson, out of work since leaving Northampton in November, was invited to take charge after a 1-1 draw with Exeter extended Yeovil’s winless run to five matches.
“It’s not the first time we’ve come up against a new boss this season,” Danny Wilson, the United manager, said. “So we know what to expect.
“It will give their players a lift because they’ll be under more pressure to perform.
“What’s it like to go back somewhere? I don’t know because I’ve never been asked.
“Joking aside, I have been on a few occasions but, from my perspective, it wouldn’t have been right.
“Gary obviously feels it is the right thing to do and he’s probably got a very good relationship with a lot of the people there behind the scenes.”
Skiverton, aged 36, was at the helm when United beat Yeovil 1-0 in August. Although Skiverton long-term future remains unclear, Wilson hopes he continues as Johnson’s assistant, saying: “Terry had been doing a very good job in difficult circumstances.
“I don’t know him personally, only from the circuit.
“But I think it would be a real shame if he’s lost to the game.
“Hopefully there will be a role for him there.”
Johnson, who has revealed on-loan Tottenham striker Jon Obika will stay in Somerset until the end of the season, guided Yeovil to FA Trophy success during his first spell with United’s opponents before leading them from the Conference to League One.
“Terry and I go back a long way,” Johnson said. “I was his gaffer here and he was my captain.
“Everything we did here we did together.
“Terry has got a lot of contacts and he’s well-respected in the game.
“So, if we both pool our contacts and work together, it will be double the bubble.”
Wilson said: “The situation will bring out the fighting spirit in Yeovil. We know that.
“Whether or not Gary has had time to prepare the team I don’t know but we prepare for every game well because they are all tough tests.”
Yeovil travelled north yesterday 21st in the table.
United, who hope Matthew Lowton (hamstring) and Ryan Flynn (illness) will both be available for selection, are fourth.
Meanwhile, Queens Park Rangers are expected to appoint Mark Hughes as manager after sacking former United chief Neil Warnock on Sunday.