TOWN FLIER is the weekly fans' blog about all matters relating to Swindon Town FC
KEVIN MacDonald can be mighty pleased with his first week in charge at Swindon Town.
It was to MacDonald, for 17 years part of the furniture at Aston Villa, that Jed McCrory and his board turned to rather than one of the more high profile candidates to replace Paolo Di Canio. The initial signs are good. On Saturday, when the new boss might have been struggling to remember all his squad’s names, they produced an epic victory at Coventry, coming from behind with two goals in the last five minutes.
They were unrecognisable from the team who so abjectly disintegrated and lost 1-0 at home to Bury the previous Tuesday.
We cannot underestimate the turmoil that has been going on at the County Ground, with new owners coming in and the former management team exiting, and that insecurity seemed to envelop the team against Bury.
But they banished those memories with a win that was full of character and quality. The joyous relief in the goal celebrations of both Andy Williams and Darren Ward showed how the pressure had been getting to them – Willo because of his goal drought and Wardy due to the burden of his caretaker management duties.
Then on Tuesday night, title rivals Doncaster and Brentford conspired to lose to MK Dons and Stevenage respectively. KMac can take no credit, of course, but those two results could have a massive bearing on how his first season with Swindon pans out.
The buzzword around KMac on Saturday was ‘calm’. More than one player reflected on the very different atmosphere in the dressing room.
You can’t deny that the Swindon Town players got results for a dictator of a manager who ruled by fear; on the evidence of one game admittedly, it seems the same players have reacted positively to the kindly uncle approach, too.
Whether Kevin MacDonald has a hair-drier in his kit bag – we will see in the next few weeks.
His next task is to risk unsettling the squad by bringing in emergency loan players. Having lost footballers of the calibre of Ritchie and Hollands, it is a risk he has to take.
This week we say farewell to CEO Nick Watkins, the last vestige of the Fitton era still in place. The erudite Watkins was a safe pair of hands and definitely a force for good, so it is sad to see him go.
Will he be forgotten as quickly by Swindon fans as the former manager? Paolo and his Swindon Town team were up for three awards at the Swindon Advertiser’s annual gong show, with the winners voted for by readers each case, Paolo lost out to Alun Rossiter’s Swindon Robins speedway side in all three.
Paolo who? it seems.