It is fortunate for Town that the division remains close; the Robins are just five points above the relegation zone but three wins could see them right in amongst the playoff contenders.
Danny Wilson was understandably annoyed and frustrated after the weekend’s result: “What did we say on Monday? We don’t want to be stood here talking about after the Lord Mayor’s show and here we are, exactly the same thing.”
The surprisingly inconsistent first half of the season has resulted in plenty of spectator disquiet about team effort, sloppy defending and a lack of quality up front in support of Charlie Austin , as well as Wilson’s tactics. However, it is imperative that Swindon’s fans get fully behind their team in the forthcoming games.
The rest of January does give the Town faithful an opportunity to claim West Country bragging rights with contests against Yeovil, Bristol Rovers and Exeter City coming thick and fast. In addition, of the four league games to come this month, three are against sides currently in the relegation zone while the other opponent is, right now, is only two points better off.
Furthermore, three of these fixtures are at home and, although Wilson’s men have not made the County Ground anything like a fortress this season, they should be able to make home advantage count for something against struggling opposition. Only the Bristol Rovers match is away from home and we all know how nervy and unpredictable such derby games can be.
It is also a great chance for the team to, yet again, demonstrate their credentials and enable the supporters to remain positively enthusiastic. David Prutton characteristically dismissed any talk of pressure when he spoke to the Swindon Advertiser this week.
He alluded to the mystery surrounding the Robins’ lowly league position when stating that; “With the players we’ve got and the performances we’ve given you can’t say it’s a fair reflection of the team.” And, acknowledging the paying public’s right to express their opinions, he urged his team mates to step up and deliver results. “If you’re a footballer and you can’t play in front of seven, eight, nine thousand then you’re in the wrong job.”
For his part, Wilson remains upbeat. “From where we are, we can't be looking downwards. We've still got to be looking up because there are points to play for.” He recognises that results highlight little between the top teams and his squad, but concedes the difference is that “they're getting more consistent results even if they're not playing particularly well.”
With the County Ground their theatre, resilient defending and consistent, trademark quality attacking play should be the players’ script. In response, the supporters need to be vociferous, constructive and as optimistic as the manager. Only together will the club begin February in contention.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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