Town’s disappointing start to the new season sadly picked up the pace over the past week as two more defeats against Sunderland and Northampton leave Swindon level on points with the side occupying the last relegation spot in League One.
Frustratingly the same story played out in both games as poor first-half performances gave Richie Wellens’ side too much to do in the second half.
Once again, Town struggled at the back as all four goals conceded over both games, we’re easily avoidable, as defenders switched off at key moments and made rookie mistakes, sadly Matthieu Baudry is shockingly out of form and the goalkeeper didn’t cover himself in glory either, especially in the first half against the Cobblers.
It’s a little worrying after nine games that our on-loan goalkeeper Matej Kovar is still looking as jittery and erratic as his first few games, I thought he would’ve settled down more by this point, maybe I’m being harsh as he’s had to deal with several different defensive partnerships in front of him and it’s too early to be advocating dropping the young keeper as that would only send him backward, but we all have to hope his overall showing between the sticks improves soon.
In the post-match interview last night, the manager once again mentioned his urgent desire to bring in another central midfielder with Town looking light in that area. With things not working out for Matty Palmer and him being loaned out to Wigan, Michael Doughty retiring and Jordan Lyden injured it’s clear the manager needs to bring in bodies, but with the transfer and loan window shut he’ll have to trust in his Director of Football Paul Jewell to find someone who fits the bill and is currently a free agent.
After being on trial during the summer it’s a shame something couldn’t be worked out with Stephen Ireland, according to reports the former Irish international wasn’t willing to budge on his wages demands, maybe Town can find some movement on this deal in the coming week?
By far the biggest highlight of last night was the performance of on-loan striker Tyler Smith when he entered the contest with twenty minutes left, the home side couldn’t deal with his pace and ability to find space around the box as he deservedly got on the score sheet, simply, the manager has to start him this Saturday.
This weekend sees Town face bitter rivals Oxfo*d United at the three-sided stadium. Richie Wellens made it clear to the press last night he knows this is the biggest game not only of this season but in many years as we try and end our run of dreadful results.
After watching the second half last night, and recalling games earlier in the season, we know this team can be a match for anyone, including this current Oxfo*d side, Town will have the best player on the pitch in Matt Smith, a striker in form in Tyler Smith, if we can get our third Smith (Jonny) back to his early-season form then this Saturday will be the day we finally take three points from the quiet neighbours down the road.