Swindon Town travel to the Valley on Saturday afternoon, looking to bounce back after Saturday defeat at home to Doncaster Rovers. The week before there was optimism and belief back in the club after a 3-2 away win at Ipswich Town. But a week later Swindon Town were brought back down to earth with a 2-1 home defeat to Doncaster Rovers.
The same side that played away at Ipswich Town and there was a bit optimism on the Social Media after that win, but it all came crashing down in moments where Swindon Town went 1-0 down trying to play a high defensive line and got punished. Got punished again for poor defending late in the first half but the referee in league one this season don’t give free kicks when one of your players get tossed around like a rag doll. But does give free kicks when opposition players pull a hamstring on the touchline. Losing Zeki Fryers to injury in the first half was massive blow, he just came back from injury a couple of weeks before hand and the rumours that were floating around this week were that he could be out for the rest of the season. With Zeki Fryers injury, Swindon added another defender to the books with loan signing of Conor Masterson from Championship side QPR. That is 8 central defenders on the books now at the club. 8 in 2 does not go, I do feel maybe 2 at a push will get moved on in the last few days of the January transfer window.
Hallam Hope impressed me when he came out and gave the Doncaster defence a problem when he came on. He is a bit more mobile that Pitman and can hold the ball up a bit better. Took his goal well, should have got more from the referee as Andy Butler left a mark or two on him. I just hope in the games coming up that he is given more of a chance in this central role that he is craving to play in.
For me after there was a thought and I did see someone post this on twitter, that the Ipswich win was just papering over the cracks. The Doncaster home defeat showed it, the game for me was over soon as Fejiri Okenabirhie broke the high Swindon Town line and scored in the opening minutes of the game. Against that Doncaster side it was going to be tough, the tactic I did not like, and it was astonishing when it flashed up on the stats at the final whistle was 1 successful cross out of 28. We were just slinging in crosses in the latter part of the second half looking for that equaliser. Doncaster just repelled every cross bar that 1 away.
It Is frustrating watching this Swindon Town side now, it has been a for a few weeks now. There is so much talent in that squad and they are getting wasted away by this management and the defensive tactics.
My predicted XI for Charlton 4-3-3
Travers, Freeman, Masterson, Conroy, Thompson, Lyden, Twine, M. Smith. Palmer, Jaiyesimi, Hope.
Charlton Athletic are sitting in 6th position in the league one table with 36 points from 23 games played and sit one point ahead of Crewe Alexandra in the final play off spot. But 2021 has not been the best of starts to the year for Lee Bowyer side. 4 points picked up from a possible 15 in 2021, started off the year with back-to-back defeats 2-0 to Hull City away and then at home to Accrington Stanley live on Sky. A 4-4 draw away at Rochdale followed just a few days later at the Valley, 2-4 down at half time, the addicks hit back with 2 goals 2 minutes from Chuks Aneke and new Danish striker Ronnie Schwartz. A win away at Bristol Rovers followed 1-0 thanks to a goal from new on loan attacker Liam Millar. Charlton succumbed away at Peterborough in the last game in midweek and Sammie Szmodics was the hero for the Posh, with two second half goals cancelling out Conor Washington strike in the first half.
It has been a busy last couple of days for Charlton Athletic in the transfer window, Alfie Doughty who impressed for me in the League cup game in September has left Charlton to join Championship side Stoke City for an undisclosed fee. Jayden Stockley has joined Charlton Athletic on loan from Championship side Preston North End and will bolster up the striking options up front for Lee Bowyer. This follows the signing of Liam Millar on loan from Liverpool and Ronnie Schwartz from Danish side FC Midtjylland.
This is another tough game for Swindon Town, I keep repeating myself but its true. A tough trip to the Valley where both teams have been struggling and both sets of fans are getting inpatient with results on the field. Feels like who ever loses on Saturday, could that be the final nail in the coffin for the manager.
Preview by Scot Munroe