Finally, after weeks and weeks of looking at social media daily, pointlessly browsing betting odds, and endless rumours of different names from the footballing world, Swindon Town have announced Ben Garner’s replacement twelve days after he left the club.
With Assistant Manager Scott Lindsay making the step up to First Team Head Coach, on a three-year deal.
When the news broke just before 5:00 pm on Monday I’ll be honest, I was underwhelmed, like the majority of Town fans I didn’t see the man who sat next to the former Head Coach taking his job after a month-long search by the club.
But after Sandro Di Michele, Swindon’s new Technical Director explained in his interview with BBC Wiltshire, it had been a long process as he wanted to meet with many candidates and explore those options, and ultimately, build on last season with Scott Lindsey made the most sense.
Scott Lindsay’s appointment is difficult to judge, being his first job as a Head Coach in the Football League, (his only managerial experience coming at non-league Chatham Town between 2019-2021) which is a concern, as, after the success of last season, expectations will be high, a top-seven finish next May should be the minimum.
It might be harsh on him, but he will need a good start to get the majority of the fanbase onside, and that is the downside of appointing someone who isn’t a well-known figure, they need to make a good first impression.
After looking at some of the possible downsides, there are more positives to this approach, as this guarantees a continuation of the progress made last season.
With the style of football staying the same, but with more aggression, which is something the new Head Coach was keen to get across in his interviews yesterday.
He knows the current squad, and those players who performed to such a high standard last season, and should be able to keep those standards around the club, his biggest test with the current squad will be convincing those important first-team players to stick around under his management.
Jack Payne, Mandela Egbo, Akin Odimayo, Rob Hunt, and Mathieu Baudry could give the start of his tenure a real boost if they extended their contracts, and would show a real sign of faith in the new Head Coach.
Another positive is not much will change personnel-wise with the backroom staff, which again adds to that sense of continuity, apart from possibly a new assistant manager or coach, as the situation with Scott Marshall isn’t 100% clear at the time of writing.
Ultimately, as I mentioned previously, this is underwhelming, but on paper, it makes sense, which isn’t a sexy sentence, but if it sees success on the pitch, nobody should care.
He will need time from the Town faithful which I hope he is afforded, as he and Sandro put together a side over the next month or so that can take the club forward, and build on the success of last season.