In a week where most of the talk had been surrounding Town’s forward line, it was a tactical change at the back that had people talking at the County Ground on Saturday.
Despite going into half-time 1-0 up Richie Wellens’ side had been second best for the majority of the first 45 minutes, it was thanks to superb performances from Steven Benda, Paul Caddis, Tom Broadbent and Anthony Grant which gave Town the platform to go and win the game in the second half.
Last week I mentioned the improving form of Tom Broadbent and how he could become important to the manager if he could pick up some consistency, and while I won’t be getting carried away, his overall performance was again a step-up to the week previous as he looked far more at ease and most importantly looked a confident figure on the pitch.
Another player who has improved over the months, which has gone under the radar, is goalkeeper Steven Benda. On Saturday the German keeper put in his best performance for Town as he successfully claimed every cross he came for and made a number of smart saves.
Being such a young player he has areas of his game he needs to work on, like his kicking, which can be a concern at times, but overall he has all the talent required to be a top goalkeeper, and will play a huge role in the rest of this campaign.
Yesterday (13/01) Town finally managed to bring in another centre-back with only one player natural in that position available, Rarmani Edmonds-Green joins the club after impressing in a couple of first-team games for his parent club Huddersfield Town, and a successful loan spell at Bromley earlier in the season.
With the Terriers recently locking the talented centre-back down to a two-year contract extension it’s clear he’s highly thought off by the Cowley Brothers, and I’m excited to see what he can offer to Wellens’ side going forward.
The other benefit of a new centre back joining the club this week is the fact Anthony Grant can now return to his more favoured position in the middle of the park.
It’s clear to see how much the former Shrewsbury man is enjoying his time at Town as he puts in exceptional performances week in week out, whether he’s playing in defence or midfield, let’s hope a contract extension can be agreed sooner rather than later as he’ll be just as key next season if we manage to make the jump up the divisions.
Someone else at the club who needs to be tied down to an extension is manager Richie Wellens. With his contract coming to an end this summer it would give everyone at the club peace of mind if a deal could be reached soon.
I appreciate managers still walk away from jobs when they have time remaining on an existing contract, but knowing any club would have to pay a sizable fee to release Richie from a contract would reassure the Town faithful.
With Swindon’s track record of losing talented managers early in their careers, you can understand the fan base being on edge if a big job came available without an extension being agreed, hopefully, this won’t be a concern moving forward with the manager publicly saying on many occasions how he’s enjoying his time in Wiltshire and he’ll happily sit down with Lee Power and work out a new deal.
I would like to see the chairman be as generous to Richie as he was to Luke Williams and put a five-year-deal in front of the manager, which will show the faith he has in him, and how he will be the man to take this club forward over the next five years.
Since Bradford recalled Eoin Doyle last week the rumour mill has gone into overdrive with many names being linked with a potential move to Town, Brett Pitman, Will Grigg, and Marc McNulty have all been mentioned as a possible replacement for the Ginger Pele.
If any potential deal to bring Doyle back to the County Ground were closed off by the Bantams then any of the strikers listed above have shown the ability needed in the past to partner the Yorkshire Pele Jerry Yates and keep our promotion chase firmly on track.