TOWN FLIER is the weekly fans' blog on all matters at Swindon Town FC
THE Swindon Town swagger is back. On Tuesday night, Burnley became the third higher division scalp (after Brighton and Stoke) as we sailed imperiously into the fourth round of the Capital One (League) Cup.
It is no coincidence that they have now beaten eight loftier cubs during Paolo Di Canio’s reign. Last season Town were a League One club masquerading as a League Two outfit; this term they are a Championship side plying their trade in League One.
Who would you fancy in the Championship this season – Swindon or Burnley? Town are just irresistible at the moment.
Whatever unsettled the squad and caused not just three straight defeats but three abject performances, seems to have been dealt with.
Credit Di Canio for arresting the slump so quickly and, in fairness to him, the three consecutive scintillating displays against Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Burnley have come about when he has been able to put out his vision of a dream team for the first time.
Di Canio likes his attacking play to develop from out wide so Matt Ritchie, on the right, has been his gem. For whatever reason, the heavily-courted Luke Rooney has rarely been in favour since his arrival at the club, but it is no coincidence that since previously injured Gary Roberts made his first start on the left wing three games ago, we have had three thrilling wins.
Add in Andy Williams at last finding his goal touch and the sudden emergence of Nathan Thompson at right back (Paul who?), no wonder results have gone so well.
Di Canio, for me, had his best front four on the pitch against Burnley. Even when Ritchie and Roberts were relatively quiet in the first half, Benson and Williams were a constant nuisance and their finishing was sublime.
Town were perhaps slightly flattered to be 2-0 up at half-time in both the Bournemouth and Burnley games – Wes Foderingham made a crucial first-half save from Matt Tubbs on Saturday and Charlie Austin could easily have had two goals during the visitors’ good early 15-minute spell on Tuesday night.
But by the end, Town should have scored six of seven in both games. Incidentally, I thought the Austin barracking from the Town End was out of order. He was a legend for us and if he handed in a transfer success to better himself, so what? He was being asked to play with donkeys up front at the time. Perhaps the fans’ ire was due to his alleged off the field activities when with us.
But he is on fire at the moment and his goal was typical Austin. When he swapped shirts with Aden Flint at the end you could still see the heavy strapping he needs to protect his dodgy shoulder.
A final word on the names left out of the matchday 18 against Bournemouth: Devera, De Vita, Luke Rooney, Flint and Bostock. Extraordinary. Most League One teams would play them every week.
The strength in depth of the squad will see us through when injuries inevitably arise, while Alan McCormack’s two unnecessary yellow cards in four days takes him to the cusp of a ban.
Roll on Shrewsbury this Saturday; when Town are playing like this, you can’t get enough.