TOWN FLIER: Power must get cracking on the loan signings
SWINDON TOWN’S newly-confirmed chairman Lee Power belatedly reopened lines of communication to fans via a BBC Radio Wiltshire phone-in on Monday evening, writes Danny Hall.
After his turbulent summer there were no earth-shattering revelations but he again came over as a likeable character whose heart is in the right place – in contrast to the previous incumbent.
Power expressed his concern at the lack of season ticket activity, even since the ownership battle for the club was settled in his favour at the High Court last week.
He revealed the 10 per cent season ticket discount would be re-introduced for one final week. But nothing will get fans splashing the cash more than serious signings.
Ten players left on the final day of last season in addition to Nile Rangers’ exit and no new faces have yet appeared.
Power said he is in the market for two footballing centre halves – no future for former captain Darren Ward, then – whom he expects to come on loan from Premiership clubs in the next fortnight.
Hopefully, one will be Southampton's Jack Stephens who looked such an assured young player on his brief loan spell at the County Ground last campaign.
And like every club chairman in the land, Power is keen to sign a 20-goal a season striker.
The key revelation was that Swindon will play with two up top this season – a welcome change for most fans. Nile Ranger was man enough to do the solo striker job up front but no one else at the club is equipped to do it.
Such a system allows manager Mark Copper to play Andy Williams now he has returned from his season-long loan at Yeovil. But Williams takes such a bite out of Power’s £1.8m budget that he may not be around for too long.
That budget is based on an average home gate of 8,000 but that may be optimistic given only one obvious five-figure possibility in Bristol City.
Last season’s squad was thrown together with indecent haste and Cooper even played a system with no strikers at one point.
One area he should not meddle with again is midfield. He was seduced into thinking Yasser Kasim could play the advanced midfield role. But that is best left to Australian World Cup squad member Massimo Luongo with Kasim doing what he does best, protecting the back four.
Thankfully, no bids have come in for our prize assets Luongo or Wes Foderingham who following Fraser Digby’s departure will now be working day to day with former Ciren Town goalkeeping coach Steve Hale.
Power is right to believe his team can be competitive. There are no frightening teams coming down from the Championship like Wolves did last season when they along with Brentford ran away with the top two positions.
League One 2014/15 is likely to be tight and that means Swindon – with a couple of judicious loans – have a bright chance.