SINCE suffering a 3-0 defeat at Dean Court on Boxing Day, Yeovil have shown only fleeting glimpses to suggest their stay in the Champion-ship will be anything but short-lived.

Promoted following an heroic effort in the play-offs, when they saw off Sheffield United and then Brentford, the Glovers were among the bookies’ favourites for an instant return to League One.

And their long odds have proved justified with the Somerset outfit, which was competing in the Conference until 2003, now six points adrift of safety with just five games remaining.

Their survival hopes rest in the hands of the players according to manager Gary Johnson, who was critical of his squad for failing to perform when the pressure was on during the 3-2 midweek defeat at Charlton.

Johnson (pictured) told the Western Gazette: “We have to bounce back but it is up to the players to do that. They have to be more consistent in their game and more consistent in their decisions.

“Some people at this level are strong and some are weak and the weak ones sometimes get found out. But we are giving them every chance and most of the players from last year we are giving every opportunity. Most of the lads we have brought in have been given lots of chances so it is disappointing.”

A five-game purple patch in February and March had given Yeovil hope with nine points yielded from two wins and three draws.

But the second worst home record in the Championship tells its own sorry story with four wins and five draws from 20 games a major factor in their predicament.

Johnson, speaking following the Charlton defeat, added: “It will take a couple of days to get over this one but we have to try to get over it and until the fat lady sings it is not over.”

Yeovil’s survival hopes were dealt a blow earlier this month when Nottingham Forest loan striker Ishmael Miller left the club after walking out of a team meeting. The 27-year-old’s 10 goals had helped keep alive the Glovers’ hopes of avoiding the drop with ex-Cherries star James Hayter their second highest scorer with seven.