It is now or never for Swindon Town in the fight for survival in league one, this is a big week up ahead for the robins and it starts with the definition of a relegation six pointer away at Rochdale on Tuesday night.
All the hope and excitement from the back-to-back away wins over Fleetwood Town and Bristol Rovers has been sucked away, what has followed in in the last few weeks has been disastrous. Two defeats over Easter to Blackpool and away at Burton Albion was followed by a non-performance against League one title contenders Peterborough.
A very lop sided 3-4-2-1 which played into Peterborough hands after Swindon Town gave them the first two goals in the opening twenty minutes thanks to poor defensive mistakes. It really could have been the cliché cricket score line if it were not for Lee Camp, he was the best player on the pitch for Swindon. Even though he did give a penalty away in the second half which Jonson Clarke-Harris missed from 12 yards. Camp was pulling off saves left, right and centre in the second half as Peterborough were attacking Swindon at will. Gaps in the midfield were being picked off with so much ease by an incredibly talented team and a team who are going places.
It was just a frustrating disheartening disappointing Swindon Town home performance; it has been the story of our season to date. The hope from a couple of weeks ago has vanished so quickly, it hard to watch this side play now and get excited for games. I have said the few times now and with the end of season coming up, league two is staring us in the face. All the hard work 2019-20 is being ripped apart in the space of 5 months.
Predicted line up 3-4-2-1
Camp, Odimayo, Grant, Grounds, Caddis, Missilou, Payne, Thompson, Garrick, Twine, Hope
Rochdale are currently bottom in the league one table with 33 points from 39 games played and sit 4 points behind Swindon. Rochdale do currently have the worse home league record in the division with 12 points from 19 games played. Just one league home win all season and that was Rochdale second home league game of the season against Fleetwood in the first weekend of October.
The last 6 games in the league have seen 1 win, 2 draw and three defeats for Rochdale in the fight for survival in league one. The sole win was a fantastic 2-1 away win at Lincoln. The two draws were a brilliant spirited 3-3 home draw against Peterborough and a 0-0 draw at home to Ipswich on Easter Monday. The three defeats were a home 2-0 defeat to Shrewsbury. An away 2-1 defeat against Portsmouth on good Friday and a 1-0 away defeat to Fleetwood in the weekend just gone.
Bryan Barry-Murphy has overseen Rochdale since April 2019 on a permanent basis after a stint in temporary charge after Keith Hill Sacking. He has used a lot of formations this season but has stuck to a 3-5-2 in the last 6 games. 4-1-4-1, 4-4-2, 4-3-3 had all been used before Bryan Barry-Murphy settled on a 3-5-2.
The two key players for Rochdale this season have been Matthew Lund and Stephen Humphrys, but both are missing with injuries. Lund is the top goal scorer at the club with 11 goals and 5 assists from 27 league one appearances. But has not played since the 20th of February 2021 after picking up an ankle injury against Plymouth.
Stephen Humprhys is the second top goal scorer at the club with 10 goals and 3 assists in 25 league one games, but he has not played since picking up an injury in the 3-3 draw against Peterborough on 20th March 2021. Humphrys was a goal scorer in that game but had to be withdrawn after 62 minutes with a hamstring injury.
Oh boy this is a massive game in the context of our season for Swindon Town on Tuesday night. The bottom two will slog it out at Spotland, a positive result for John Sheridan side will elevate them outside of the heavily congested bottom 6. A defeat will see Swindon Town succumb to a 4th defeat in a row and a 26th league one defeat of the season.
By Scot Munroe