SWINDON Town manager John Sheridan remains confident his side can survive relegation and finish top of League One’s bottom seven sides if the club’s luck with injuries improves in the final few months.

With 18 games to play, Town remain inside the drop zone on goal difference alone. However, many of the teams around them have at least one game in hand.

Swindon have to play each of their fellow relegation contenders once before the season is over though, and Sheridan believes that is a positive for his team as the 56-year-old says Town are the best team in the bottom septet.

Adding the caveat that injuries must begin to cease for his team if they are to stay up, Sheridan appeared bullish about the quality of his outfit compared to their rivals.

He said: “If we get everyone fit, I’m confident we’re able to finish top of that mini league. I do look at the table, and seven or eight teams are down there.

“There are a couple of teams who have picked up enough points to create a bit of a gap between the rest, but we’re definitely a match for any of the eight teams down the bottom, anyway.

“We’ve shown that in games this season. If I can get the team to perform like we did when we play away at Ipswich Town or Charlton Athletic, we are well capable of finishing at the top of that mini league.”

Aside from injuries, Town were dealt two blows recently when loanees, Matt Smith and Mark Travers returned to Arsenal and AFC Bournemouth, respectively.

The Town boss said it is important that his team does not become too disheartened over the loss of loaned teammates as that is always a risk a team takes when signing a player from a higher division.

Sheridan added that Town have also been the beneficiaries of ending a loan player’s time at their respective club early, and that is simply the nature of the beast in football.

Sheridan said: “We have had a lot of injuries regularly throughout my time here, especially in the centre of defence, and then when loans are recalled, that’s just the risk you take by bringing in a loan player.

“You’ve just got to take it on the chin. It’s obviously not something we want, or you like to see happen, and it Mark Travers’ case, it’s happened quite late.

“If a loan player comes in and does really well, there’s always a chance that he’ll get called back, like what happened with Scott Twine. We’ve just got to try and kick on, hang on in there and fight for what we need.”