WHAT a difference a week can make in the volatile world of football, writes Andrew Steele-Davis

Only last week we were basking in the glow of the excellent 2-1 win over Sheffield United, a victory that lifted Swindon to within a mere point of Peterborough in the last play-off spot.

The mood around The County Ground had suddenly transformed, fans were again dreaming of the play-offs.

However, negativity has started to creep back in, following Peterborough’s win over Colchester in their game in hand and Town’s slip-up away at Carlisle.

Town made the long trek to Cumbria in buoyant mood, having carved out a four-game unbeaten run, but they were run ragged in the first half by a Carlisle side who were fighting for their lives.

Gary Madine, a one-time target of Swindon, when Paolo Di Canio was in charge, ran the show for the home side and notched the only goal of the game.

Chris Chantler was allowed to gallop forward down the right flank before driving in a low cross and Madine was given all the time in the world to swivel on the ball before slotting home.

Town were much improved in the second half, thanks in large part to the introduction of Alex Pritchard, but a combination of poor finishing and bad decision making ensured that Swindon made the long trip back down the M6 empty handed.

Brentford are the visitors to The County Ground on Saturday, a game which will see the return of two former favourite sons to SN1.

Alan McCormack and Jonathan Douglas will both line-up against their former side this weekend, with Brentford looking to seal automatic promotion to the Championship.

Both McCormack and Douglas have played a key part in Brentford’s fine campaign so far, a season that is sure to end in promotion.

If Swindon are to sneak into those play-offs then a win against Brentford is a must, and judging by Town’s recent wins over high-flying Preston and Sheffield United, you wouldn’t rule it out.