After sitting through 180 frustrating minutes this past week it’s tempting to solely focus on the negatives from the past four days.
But after watching Town play live for the first time since March on Saturday it’s important to recognise that moment and how fantastic it felt to be back inside the County Ground.
A huge hand has to go to everyone involved in making sure all 2,000 fans felt safe and secure whilst inside the stadium, and to Danny Lee in the ticket office dealing with this whole situation as it was organised as fairly as possible, and hopefully Swindon can enter Tier One soon meaning all season ticket holders can attend.
Sadly, we must now talk about what happened on the pitch as John Sheridan’s side suffered two more defeats which sees them now sitting 22nd in League One.
These results leave John Sheridan with just two wins in his opening nine games, including four defeats in a row, the latest coming last night as despite a decent first-half showing a real lack of concentration in the second half saw Town concede twice and despite scoring a last-minute penalty Swindon never looked like they would earn anything from the game.
I fully appreciate since Sheridan’s appointment he’s had to deal with a lot of injuries to important players leaving him short in areas but last night he was far too slow in trying to change the game.
Not using our top goalscorer in Tyler Smith until the 79th minute seemed like a mistake, as soon as we went 1-0 down at the start of the second half, he needed to change the system and personnel but instead, the players huffed and puffed without success.
I’m trying to convince myself this doesn’t feel like the Paul Hart situation all over again, as we have a much better squad than in 2011 and many more games left for this to be turned around, but Sheridan has to begin our fightback soon as if we have a poor Christmas and New Year, we could easily find ourselves adrift of 20th position.
Any small amount of goodwill he earned with the fans for his two derby successes won’t last long if results don’t change quickly, and if his side comes into the return fixture of last night’s contest on 16th January in the bottom four, I’m certain the majority of Town fans will be demanding a change of manager.
Thankfully there were some positives to come from last night the biggest being the performance of Zeki Fryers who made his first start since 3rd October, as he looked somewhat back to the player who became a key man under Richie Wellens last season, his pace has been missed and it’s important he’s back fit and ready to play.
The other positive coming in goal as Matej Kovar seems to have put his poor start to life at SN1 firmly behind him as he kept Town in the game with some important saves with the best coming just before half-time as he acrobatically tipped behind Danny Amos’ goal-bound effort.
He will certainly need to be at his best this Saturday as Town welcome 7th place Charlton Athletic to the County Ground.
After wiping the floor with Wimbledon last weekend and having their midweek game called off due to a Covid outbreak at Bristol Rovers they’ll be eager to get back on the pitch and will provide another tough test for Sheridan’s side.