OPINION: Peter Mitchell

ALL local football fans are asking the same question “What has gone wrong with Swindon Town?”.

After an impressive run of seven games without defeat the team has now lost five in a row – three in the league – that has seen them drop to the midway point.

Friday night’s home game was the latest disaster when they lost 3-2 against Colchester United.

The enigma deepens when you consider that they have gained almost double the number of points away from home, as at home (21 vs 11) – a very unusual situation.

Manager David Flitcroft is on record as saying he’s not particularly disappointed with the attack and that it is the defence where the problems really lie.

Having conceded 13 goals in those five defeats (but scoring six) that is an opinion many would share.

However, having both recognised strikers, in Luke Norris and Harry Smith, out injured together is obviously not helping the cause.

Midfield is also under pressure with the creative Timi Elsnick still out and with the return from injury of Donal McDermott seemingly not making a lot of difference.

Exactly why James Dunne was dropped on Friday is perplexing. He has generally performed well and has made a difference to the midfield where he is the no-nonsense stopping player that all teams need.

Matt Taylor was pushed into midfield instead but, from what we have witnessed so far, his best role is as the offensive left-sided wing back – you may recall his first few games after joining the Town where he played unimpressively in midfield.

But there is no doubt his contribution has been massive, and he provided yet another two assists from free kicks on Friday.

I still maintain, as I said last week, that Swindon need to play three central defenders which should then make the heart of defence more robust and provide more support to the flanks.

With the present formation I feel Olly Lancashire and Matt Preston are being stretched too often and having Ben Purkiss in there with them would be worth the experiment. His position at right back can be taken by Kyle Knoyle who has deputised quite capably.

With Town playing away next Saturday (Crewe) you feel a bit more optimistic!