Back to midweek action, Swindon Town entertain Plymouth Argyle at the County Ground on Tuesday night after a disappointing second half collapse away at Charlton Athletic on Saturday evening.
Going into the half time break 2-0 up thanks to goals from Hallam Hope and Matty Palmer, it looked all rosy being a Swindon Town. Another away win and edging closer to the above the dotted line. But the game plan in the second half to sit back and soak up all the pressure from Charlton Athletic did not work. The change of shape from a hybrid of a 4-3-3 to a flat 4-4-2 and playing long balls to the isolated strikers just invited pressure. While on the other hand Lee Bowyer changed his tactics to a 4-4-2 diamond and that wreaked havoc on the Swindon Town defence. Liam Millar had the freedom of the Valley and attacked our brittle defence at will. Coming out of the game with a 2-2 draw after leading at half time felt like a defeat, John Sheridan had his tactics spot on for the first half and Swindon Town were playing some attractive football. Defending well, playing through the lines, and taken our chances. That went all to pot in the second half, with negative tactics and it could have been worse when Conor Washington rounded Mark Travers in the 96th minute and could hit the side netting.
It was very disappointing that result away at a top 6 side in League One this season, first 45 minutes were outstanding. Less so the second half, Swindon Town were completely a different side. Bitter pill in the mouth after that performance because that could have laid down a marker for the last few months of the season and could have elevated the side out of the bottom four and as high as 18th. Two points are separating Rochdale who sit in 18th in league one table to Swindon Town who sit second bottom with 21 points.
Swindon Town today have dipped into the transfer market by sealing the loan signing of Norwich City striker Tyrese Omotoye until the end of the season. That loan signing will bolster up the attack for Swindon Town for the rest of the season, but I feel with this signing this spells the end for Tyler Smith at Swindon Town. He has hardly featured in recent weeks when he is the club top scorer and its beggar’s belief that he is not playing. Maybe John Sheridan wants to bring in his own players and get rid of all the loan players that Richie Wellens brought in in the summer. Its looks like it is going down that road. I will not be surprised if Jonny Smith along with Tyler Smith loan deals get cancelled and get sent back to their loan clubs. But that is just a hunch.
Potential Swindon Line up. Formation 4-3-3
Travers, Freeman, Conroy, Masterson, Thompson, Lyden, Palmer, M. Smith, Twine, Jaiyesimi, Hope
Plymouth Argyle are currently sitting in 14th place in the League One standings with 30 points from 23 games. Plymouth Argyle last 6 league games has seen a change in form for the better for Ryan Lowe side. On the back of 6 straight defeats in the league, it was important that they bounced back, and they have picking 3 wins, 2 draw and 1 defeat. The loss was away at Oxford United in the final game of 2020 for both sides. The draws were against Charlton Athletic on boxing day drawing 2-2 and on the 15th January a 1-1 home draw against Crewe Alexandra. The three wins have come up against MK Dons a win which ended the six-game winless streak. Home win against Gillingham kicked off 2021 for the pilgrims and a brilliant 2-1 away win at Sunderland in the last midweek round. At the weekend just gone Plymouth Argyle were knocked out of the FA Cup by Premier League side Sheffield United 2-1.
Ryan Lowe has stuck to his principals and plays wonderful attacking football which is easy on the eye. He did it at Bury at that is what got him the job at Plymouth Argyle. He sticks to the 3-5-2 which has got him the success and it get the best out of his players. sometimes he can switch to the 3-5-2 to the 3-4-1-2 to switch Danny Mayor from a deeper role to a free role as a no10 and let him dictate the game.
The players to watch out for Plymouth Argyle are the hottest commodity in League one this season in Luke Jephcott. Plymouth Argyle striker has been in red hot form and has attracted interest from the Championship. Nottingham Forest is reportedly interested in the Welsh striker who has hit the ground running in his breakout season netting 13 goals in 19 appearances spanning 1326 minutes. Jephcott already has form against Swindon Town this season netting a brace in a 4-2 home win for Plymouth Argyle back in October. The second player to watch out for is former Everton youth product Conor Grant. Grant can play either on the left or in the centre of midfield has contributed 10 goals for Plymouth Argyle this season in the league with 3 goals and 7 assists spanning 1375 minutes played. Conor Grant is the nephew of former Swindon Town loanee Tony Grant who had a highly successful loan spell at the club during the 1995/96 season.
It is becoming a bit of a cliché, but this is another important game for Swindon Town, they want to bounce back after conceding a late equaliser at Charlton Athletic behind them. This is a must win game for the club in their survival to the drop into league two. The bottom of the league table is very tight now and if Swindon Town can get on a run it will drag them into midtable. Plymouth Argyle on the other hand will be looking for back-to-back league and away wins and looking to add more misery into Swindon Town league one season.
Preview by Scot Munroe