Where you place your expectations for your club as a football fan can cover a huge spectrum going into a new season.
It boils down to lots of different factors, and at some clubs, it’s more obvious than others, like Bradford City appointing Derek Adams is seen as them making a big statement about achieving promotion with a manager who achieved that feat last season, then you have Sutton United who will be aiming simply for survival after promotion last season.
At the start of this season expectations for Swindon was simply survival as the new management team had only a couple of weeks to put together a squad under different transfer rules, but it’s clear to anyone who has witnessed Town play this season, they aren’t a side which will be struggling throughout the campaign.
But at the same time, it also feels wrong to be aiming too high in League Two due to the reasons I laid out earlier, so whereas Town fans do we draw the line of success and failure this season?
As at the weekend when the full-time whistle blew, I was disappointed that we could only manage a draw, resulting in Town only picking up one home league win this season, but as soon as I feel myself becoming disappointed my mind goes straight back to the early summer and all the issues we were dealing with as a club.
These dilemmas only exist thanks to Ben Chorley and Ben Garner and all the management team at the club for building and coaching a good League Two side, meaning expectations have had to be altered.
Maybe the answer is not to have any expectations and try and enjoy the ride, but as I watch Town each week and see them improve as a side it’s hard not to imagine what this side could achieve if we manage to escape injuries to key players.
One of the reasons expectations have risen throughout the season is the squad assembled by our Director of Football, and when one player in particular signed up fans knew this season wouldn’t be aiming for 22nd place in League Two.
When Louis Reed arrived in early August, I had to do a double-take as signing a player who had just played a role in a League One side achieving promotion to the Championship was a huge coup and on Saturday, he once again showed what an incredible piece of business this will turn out to be this season.
As he was easily Town’s best player at the weekend as he controlled the midfield by winning the ball back and spreading play around the pitch when Town was looking to breach the U’s defensive lines.
If he can stay fit, he should be one of the first names on Garner’s team sheet moving forwards.
One player we desperately missed at the weekend was our Welsh International Jonny Williams as he would’ve been able to create more chances and get into more dangerous positions to make an impact on the scoreline.
We must see him back against struggling Bristol Rovers as having him play behind Tyreece Simpson will be key in taking a positive result away from the Memorial Stadium and moving Town into the playoff places, something very few people would’ve predicted in mid-July.