TOWN FLIER is the fans' blog about all matters relating to Swindon Town FC
IT DIDN’T take Paolo Di Canio long to have his first volcanic eruption of the season – it happened at Hartlepool on Saturday in the first league game.
He gave the players a ‘telling off’ in the dressing room, travelled back to Wiltshire in a huff and refused to speak to the Press.
The players sent to deal with the media carried the demeanour of a death in the family.
From a fan’s perspective the 0-0 draw did not look so bad – Swindon have played far worse – and it was point and a clean sheet away from home.
It had echoes of Paolo’s reaction to the draw at Bristol Rovers last season.
Fast forward to the County Ground three days later and Di Canio was back in his default position, congratulating and hugging every Swindon player as they left the field, exaggeratedly saluting the adoring crowd. He even spoke to the Press.
The manager described the display as ‘near perfect’ and for all Crawley’s shortcomings it was pretty darn good.
Crawley must be sick of the sight of Swindon, having lost to them 3-0 on three occasions in the last 12 months.
When will they learn that you cannot give Matt Ritchie space because he will destroy you. The winger was unplayable in the first half – even without his mate Paul Caddis behind him.
The former captain was not restored to the squad and Joe Devera again took the right back slot.
It was good to see Di Canio single him out for praise afterwards. Devera is so unlucky to be a fringe member of this squad because of our strength in his position.
He’s a centre back, not an overlapping full back, but he made a good fist of the job on Tuesday.
As did centre back Aden Flint, restored to the side (permanently?) due to Troy Archibald-Henville’s injury and utterly dominant throughout.
There are now two fascinating games coming up, Saturday’s home clash with MK Dons – the team the bookies say are our biggest threats for the League One title (along with Sheffield Utd) and Premiership Stoke at the Britannia Stadium in the Capital One Cup.
I am dying to see whether Andy Williams is just as much of a handful against good defences as he was with Crawley and how our mean defence copes with a Premiership strike force and Stoke’s aerial bombardment.
MK Dons will be weakened by having had two players sent off in their opening two games, while I can’t see Tony Pulis playing his first team against us on Tuesday just two days after taking on Arsenal.
And, exciting times ahead, two new signings are imminent, says chairman Wray.
I’m hoping for a striker and a central midfielder; I presume if one is a right back, we know Caddis’s days at the club are numbered and that would be very sad.