Di Canio: Ritchie 'one of the best'


Paolo di Canio hailed Matt Ritchie as one of the stars of League Two after his brace helped Swindon to a 4-0 victory at home to Barnet.

Raffaele De Vita gave the Robins the lead after just 11 minutes and Ritchie added the second before Mehdi Kerrouche headed a third in first-half stoppage time. For Barnet it was all over and the inevitable fourth goal came when Ritchie added his second midway through the second half as any real threat from the visitors subsided.

"He did fantastic, not only when he scored the goal but in his delivery which is first class," Swindon boss Di Canio said. "The way he works off the ball, especially alongside Paul Caddis - they form the best link-up in this league and he is one of the best players in the league."

The result was Swindon's biggest win of the season and Di Canio added: "It's crucial to score the first goal and that always helps."

On Kerrouche, the Italian said: "He's good. When I signed him the only concern I had was the desire he has to want to play many games.

"When he works between the two lines he is one of the best players but he has to keep going. When he works he is very good."

Goalkeeper Phil Smith was recalled in place of Mattia Lanzano, who was on the bench, and Di Canio explained: "It was simple, Mattia had a very bad last game and during the week Phil was very good because he recovered from his shoulder injury.

"In training Phil was amazing and Mattia during this week, to be honest, wasn't strong enough to forget what had happened.

"Even with this one mistake from the last game I am sure he will come back strongly. He is still a young and talented player, but Phil was my first choice, he was good."

Barnet boss Lawrie Sanchez declined to meet the press after the game to discuss the result but must have been desperately disappointed with his team's performance.

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