Its Derby weekend in the Southwest on Saturday, as Swindon Town make the short journey to take on the Blue and White side of Bristol in Bristol Rovers.
Swindon Town will be looking for a first win in the league since August 28th which was a 1-0 home win over Mansfield. Since then, Swindon Town have gone winless in the next 4 league games with 3 draws and the one home defeat to Port Vale.
Last Saturday draw at home to Colchester United was so frustrating at the times but on the flip side, for moments in that game that has been some of the best football I have seen this season. Granted it is a small sample size, but I was really impressed on what I saw from the players last weekend.
There was no panicking in possession, I felt If this was the same team under a different manager from the past you would have seen a different outcome. I think that’s the pessimist in us football fans. We always see the bad side instead of seeing the better side. You can really see the patience between the fans and players and the coaching staff which is really refreshing too see.
I see growth in this Swindon Town side, I know its early doors, but it is promising on which we get to see week in week out in the stands. You must remember that this squad was put together in weeks and hopefully will fully click in the up-and-coming weeks.
Ben Garner said in the press conference today pre-match that he has a full squad to pick from for the second week running and just in time for the international break where the spine of his XI is going away on international break and potentially could be missing games. Jojo Wollacott was called up to the Ghana provisional squad for WC Qualifiers. Alex Gilbert has been called up to ROI under 21 squad. Jonny Williams been called up to Wales national team squad and Anthony Grant again called up to the Jamacia squad. All in time for a big game next Saturday lunch time live on Sky Sports.
Predicted Swindon Town XI
Wollacott, Kesler-Hayden, Conroy, Critchlow, Hunt, Reed, Grant, Williams, Payne, Gilbert, Simpson.
Bristol Rovers on the other hand have found life in League 2 after last season relegation from league 1 a bit of a struggle. Joey Barton side are loitering down at the bottom half of the table in 18th place with 10 points from 9 games.
The start of the 2021/22 season for the blue side of Bristol has been poor, but they did pick up a very important 2-1 away win at Walsall which elevated themselves from 21st to the lofty heights of 18th. Bristol Rovers have lost 5 out of the 9 games and a viral clip that evidentially went viral after the Leyton Orient home defeat, safe to say the fans response to Barton coming over to applaud the fans after the game didn’t go well. In the background you can see an ex STFC goalkeeper celebrating in front of the home fans. Oh Lawrence
Joey Barton was appointed Bristol Rovers manager in February 2021 and criticised the previous regime for the squad built at the Memorial Stadium. His tenure at Bristol Rovers has been close to a disaster. Tomorrow will be his 30th game in charge, 19 defeats out of 29 with 7 wins and 3 draws with a points per game record of just 0.83.
To try and rectify the poor form at the club on the pitch, Joey Barton has switched his tactics up and started with a 3-4-2-1 in recent weeks and played that formation when Bristol Rovers won away at Walsall last weekend.
By Scot Munroe