ONE STEP forward, another one backwards. That’s the sum total of Swindon Town’s last four days.
Three ultimately comfortable points gained at home to Yeovil in a 4-1 win were followed by a lacklustre display against a well-organised Brentford, who won by a single goal.
Sadly, the County Ground ‘fortress’ appears to be built with straw – that was the third 1-0 home defeat already this season after those against Leyton Orient and Colchester. The consistency required of any successful team remains elusive.
Fortunately, there were some other unfathomable results in League One on Tuesday night and, although we dropped from third to sixth, not too much damage was done.
However, there will probably be repercussions. Manager Di Canio muttered darkly post-match about wanting to bring in one more player before the emergency loan options end today. He says he knows the position he wants to strengthen.
I will be very surprised if that is not the left wing role currently held by Gary Roberts.
Roberts, hampered by injury at the start of the season, has arguably been our least effective player in the last six games or so. He is also presumably one of our biggest earners, having dropped down from Huddersfield.
Luke Rooney, for my money a more dangerous player than Roberts, has long since fallen out of favour with Di Canio – and is on his second loan spell away from the club. I suspect Roberts can expect only to warm the bench, at best, in forthcoming matches.
Swindon will need to play much more like they did against Yeovil if they want anything out of the away match at Notts County on Saturday.
Yeovil score plenty of goals away from home with their tactic of sending the two giant centre backs forward for set pieces at every opportunity. But that threat was superbly countered by Darren Ward having his best game so far in a Town shirt.
Yeovil’s tactics were, however, vulnerable to the counter attacking we like to play and their rather bizarre system of zonal marking at set pieces looked flaky, too.
Last week’s loan arrivals have obviously been a boost.
Chris Martin (good touch, overweight) and Danny Hollands (dependable, not match fit) have both shown glimpses of what we can expect from them but the Brentford game showed once again how much we miss even a three-quarter fit Andy Williams.
Our best striker seems set to miss another two weeks, having jarred his knee against his old team Yeovil.
Is anyone going to step up to the plate to fill the Willo void?