Swindon’s superb start to the season hit its first speed bump at the weekend as Derek Adams and his Bradford side outthought their opponents start to finish.
The adage of “nothing beats experience” is true and was on full display at the weekend.
With hindsight, Ben Garner would possibly not have matched up to his formation with Town’s visitors on Saturday and carried on with the 3- 5-2 that he has started within Town’s last five games, which has resulted in three wins and two draws.
It’ll be interesting to see if he goes back to the winning formula of 3-5-2 next Saturday or continues with the 4-3-3 as Town travel to Oldham Athletic.
When the starting elevens got announced at 2 pm I was reading down the team, I was surprised to see Kaine Kesler-Hayden again on the bench.
It could’ve been down to the formation and when we play four at the back the manager doesn’t see Kaine as the best option as he’s so forward-minded it could leave gaps at the back.
But regardless of the formation, I would always have the Aston Villa loanee in the starting eleven as the positives tower over any negatives with him in the side, I’d be surprised to see him on the bench next weekend as we hopefully go back to 3-5-2 formation, and as he enjoyed a good second half against Bradford at the weekend.
It wouldn’t be fair to place all the blame on the manager’s back as his players didn’t do themselves justice at key moments, as this was easily the worst performance from Town’s front line this season.
So far Tyreece Simpson has had a positive influence on this side and has at times been Town’s best player as some defenders simply can’t handle the striker, but against the Bantams, he failed to show up.
When we see Tyreece having a poor game, I wonder if he feels relieved or frustrated when he looks over to the bench and sees no one in our squad who can replace him from the bench.
Harry McKirdy has done amazingly well playing behind or sometimes alongside our Ipswich loanee but thankfully we have replacements in the squad who can come and fill that role if needed in Alex Gilbert, Jayden Mitchell-Lawson, or Ben Gladwin.
I’ve made the point regarding our lack of striking options earlier in the season, and it’s odd that the manager sees strikers and attacking midfielders under one bracket “forwards”, but at the weekend it was clear Simpson needed to be replaced, he looked tired and was having a bad game.
To me, Alex Gilbert doesn’t do the same job as Tyreece Simpson, he’s a talented player, but not an out-and-out striker. This situation needs to be addressed soon before Simpson gets possibly injured, suspended, or simply needs a rest.
As already mentioned, Town are thankfully back on the road next weekend and will be looking to take advantage of Oldham’s poor start to the season, make it nine games unbeaten away, and force our way back into the top three in League Two.