TOWN FLIER is the weekly fan's blog about all matters relating to Swindon Town FC
WE DO not know whether Paolo Di Canio is a fan of the film Jerry Maguire but his first question to new consortium head Jed McCrory has to be ‘Show Me The Money’.
Like Paolo, all Swindon Town fans want to know whether we are shopping in Harrods or Poundland.
The club remains in a great position – unbeaten in 11 and hunting up the leaders in League One – after the 1-1 home draw with bottom club Hartlepool, but there were areas on the pitch that need to be rectified. And that requires some financial input.
You cannot lose players of the calibre of Matt Ritchie and Danny Hollands, as we did in January, and expect to maintain a push for automatic promotion. We missed Ritchie’s goals, assists and general attacking threat against Pool, while the now-injured Hollands had made himself invaluable doing a lot of the dirty but necessary work in midfield.
It would be asking a lot to expect any new players brought in on emergency loans to have the same sort of influence as that pairing.
Up front remains a problem area. As Paolo said after the game we have not had a natural goalscorer all season. With a Charlie Austin or a Simon Cox we would already be over the hill and far away in the promotion race.
It is also noticeable that the heavy midwinter pitches are blunting striker Andy William’s greatest asset – his pace.
The wasteful all-round finishing on Saturday simply highlighted that a fresh striker should be on the manager’s shopping list.
Whether Paolo remains in charge when the dust settles on the takeover remains to be seen. He is cutting a rather careworn figure at the moment and ended another press conference prematurely when the topic drifted from the game to the nitty gritty of will he stay or will he go?
The fans made their feelings for the boss plain when they stood up for a pre-arranged pro-Paolo chant at the ten-minute mark on Saturday.
Whether the Swindon players were distracted by all the movement in the stands, they seemed to take their eye off the ball literally and within seconds Wes Foderingham had to make a good low save to keep out James Poole.
It was more or less the only scare until three-quarters of the way through the game. Hartlepool played the ball around confidently – mostly in their own half, and somewhat recklessly at the back on occasion.
Swindon’s goal from the tireless Simon Ferry – what a season he is having – was as sweet a counter attack as you are ever likely to see at the County Ground.
But we had a hatful of chances to finish the game off, notably three in little more than a minute at the beginning of the second half. Yes, they were all kept out by saves from Scott Flinders but looking on replay, most of them went straight at him.
After former Robin Andy Monkhouse (inevitably) got the equaliser, we did start to look leggy, as if the recent run of games on bad pitches was starting to take its toll.
How we then missed Ritchie’s supply of crosses. What we got towards the end were long balls launched aimlessly forward which proved meat and drink to Pool’s experienced defence.
And, for once, our bench looked threadbare.
Let’s have a positive mission statement from the new owners and the financial clout to freshen up a squad which may never have a better chance to climb to the Championship.
Otherwise, our leader could become the second most famous Roman to stand down this week.