RYAN BIRD readied to face his old side and promised: We won’t park the bus this time!
The former Pompey striker is predicting an exciting encounter as he prepares to shoot down his former club tomorrow.
Bird is hoping to start for Yeovil against the Blues at Huish Park in what he’s billing as a huge clash for his relegation-threatened side.
And the man who stepped up from the eighth tier of English football to join Pompey in 2013, has promised Paul Cook’s side a hard afternoon’s work.
Struggling Yeovil sit one place off the foot of the League Two table but haven’t lost at home since November – and Bird explained confidence is growing under new boss Darren Way.
He promised there will be no repeat of the Glovers’ defensive display at Fratton Park in October.
They picked up a 0-0 draw under former boss Paul Sturrock back then, but the 28-year-old expects to see his team play on the front foot tomorrow.
Bird said: ‘It’s a massive game for us.
‘I don’t know how we are where we are, but the new gaffer has come in and changed it.
‘He is quality and has given us belief. He’s dedicated and constantly positive. He’s transformed the place.
‘If we had the gaffer we had now and were playing the football we are, we’d never have been in trouble.
‘There’s ridiculous talent here. I can’t believe some of the teams we’ve played are above us. There are some who are horrendous.
‘We tend to play better against the better teams as well. It’s going to be a tough one, but I definitely think we’ll give Pompey a good game.
‘Our home form is really good so I can see it being a good game. We won’t park the bus like we did at Fratton!’
Bird goes into tomorrow’s game as Yeovil’s top scorer, with eight goals to his name this season.
He started last weekend’s defeat at Hartlepool, but has been largely coming off the bench under his new boss.
It’s taken adjustment for Bird to become used to the pro ranks, after he was converted from a defender to a 45-goal striker at Burnham.
After spells with Pompey, Cambridge and now Yeovil, the front man explained he’s happy with how he’s developed.
‘It’s going well, I like to score goals,’ said Bird.
‘I’m not the best player in the world but I’m a nuisance, work hard and score goals. That’s what I’m about.
‘I do what it says on the tin – and I’m enjoying it.’
Bird gave an insight into the Yeovil quality he believes the Blues will have to contend with tomorrow.
Francois Zoko, who was Pompey’s tormentor in the FA Cup when he scored two goals for Stevenage in 2013, is someone they will have to look our for.
Bird added: ‘Our right-back, Connor Roberts, is on loan from Swansea and has been ledge.
‘Francois Zoko up front is a magician. He’s a joke – he’s impossible to tackle.
‘He doesn’t do skills but is strong and quick. You can’t tackle him. It’s mad.
‘We’re playing well as a team.
‘It’s been an attacking style of play.’