This Tuesday is the final throw of the dice for Swindon Town in the battle of survival in League one. After the embarrassing defeat on Saturday evening to the hands of AFC Wimbledon, Swindon Town are now 7 points from safety with 4 games remaining. The first of those 4 games take place tomorrow evening (6pm) against Danny Cowley Portsmouth side who are hovering just outside the play-offs.
Saturday performance was an utter disaster after a particularly good first five minutes, it just went all downhill after John Sheridan changed the shape from a diamond to a flat 4 in midfield. Time after time the midfield was just getting over run and it was painful to watch. In all honesty we were lucky to be 3-0 down at half time, the crossbar was Swindon Town best player in the first 45 minutes. There was no ambition, everything Swindon tried to do did not work and we came unstuck against a very good side who are well coached in Mark Robinson.
The tenure of John Sheridan reign at Swindon Town is over, it was confirmed after the game on Saturday against AFC Wimbledon that he was leaving his position. That was confirmed on Sunday morning to the delight of the Swindon Town fans on social media. Hindsight is really a wonderful thing, when Sheridan was announced some Swindon fans on the social media was saying this should never have happened and it was the cheap option. 5 months down the line, they were right. The ones who disagreed I hope they are eating humble pie right now. Because I am.
It has been a rollercoaster with John Sheridan, some ups, and a lot of downs, we will always have Tom Broadbent scoring twice away at Oxford.
Lee Peacock and Tommy Wright will be taking over for the 4 games remaining.
Predicted line up vs Portsmouth 4-3-1-2
Camp, Caddis, Broadbent, Grant, Thompson, Missilou, Lyden, Payne, Twine, T. Smith, Pitman.
Portsmouth are the visitors to the County Ground on Tuesday night, and they are just outside of the play off picture by goal difference, one goal. Oxford United are 6th and Portsmouth are 7th with 65 points from 41 games.
Portsmouth run of last 6 results started positively with 3 wins on the spin but has not ended well with 2 defeats and a draw which has followed. The three wins were a 2-1 away at Shrewsbury. That followed back-to-back wins over Easter against at home to Rochdale (2-1) and away to Wigan Athletic (1-0). But what has followed the positivity and a potential push for the play offs is a winless streak of 3 games, coming at the worst time of the season. A 2-1 home defeat to a revitalised Burton Albion was followed up by a 0-0 draw with Crewe Alexandra. Finally at the weekend Portsmouth succumbed 1-0 away at MK Dons.
Danny Cowley is now in charge of Portsmouth and has been in charge for just over a month. Took over the reigns at Portsmouth on March 19th after Kenny Jacket was relieved of his duties. Cowley ball has been in charge for 7 games with some incredibly positive results, minus the last three games. 13 points from 7 games in charge with a points per game record of 1.86. Danny Cowley along with his brother Nicky at the helm have switched the tactics from a 4-4-2 to a 4-2-3-1 which the latter is the favourite of the Cowley brothers.
The key player to watch out for in the Portsmouth side:
Signed for big money in the 2019 summer John Marquis joined Portsmouth from Doncaster Rovers for a sum believed to be close to £2m. After struggling for goals in his first season with 8 in 33 appearances in League one. This season he is the club top goal scorer with 14 goals from 36 and that includes 5 assists. After a slow start to the season 0 goals in 6 games, Marquis came to form with scoring 9 goals in the next 7 including doubles against Sunderland, Northampton Town, and Lincoln City. Marquis has found scoring in 2021 tough and has found himself not in the matchday squad for 5 times in the last 8 games. John Marquis off the field has done brilliant work helping with mental health charities and helped a Portsmouth fan who was on the brink of suicide. George Carnell was quoted last year “Marquis saved my life”. A very touching article on dealing with depression from May 2020. John Marquis one of the good guys in football.
Oh boy tomorrow is a massive game for Swindon, the miracle is needed to avoid relegation back to League two at the first time of asking. A positive result tomorrow against a Portsmouth side who are struggling for form at the wrong time of the season will go a long way forward in boosting Swindon Town chances of survival.