This is the start of a crucial month for Swindon Town, in the battle to avoid drop back to league two at the first time of asking. The first of back-to-back home games against teams in and around them in the bottom half. Starting with the definition of a 6 pointer against Wigan Athletic
The last few games following Swindon Town have been hard to watch, to be honest since mid-October this season has been tough to watch. Against Hull City on Saturday, we looked like a team short on confidence and bereft of ideas. Lining up against a team who like to play football in the manor with a flat 4-4-2 was just asking for trouble. Hull City especially in the first half played us off the park with the neat and tidy passing game that Grant McCann has installed in them.
It was difficult to watch and the second half did not get much better, you thought there was a glimmer of hope with 10 or so minutes left with the game at 1-0. But the hope just dwindled away when the seconds eked away in stoppage time. It took Swindon Town just past the 80th minute to have a shot on target. It was a weak pathetic of an excuse of a performance, laid down with a whimper. For me it felt that the players had lost confidence in the manager, could not string a few passes together before Hull City took the ball of us and started another attack. A few weeks on from the Ipswich performance where there was hope for a good run and escape out of the relegation zone. That hope has fizzled out and something needs to be done seriously, the fans have had enough of this dinosaur tactics and football. The club and the players are not getting much out of it, it is a bygone to different era in the past. The fans have had enough, enough is enough and its time for a change. If nothing is done than this club next season will be back in league two and the work of the 2019-20 season will have just gone down the drain.
In news that was broke today, Matt Smith has been “recalled” by Arsenal and has joined fellow league one side Charlton Athletic for the rest of the season. Best player in a struggling side has been bombed out in recent games and has left the club. That has left a bitter taste in the mouth, he was head shoulders the best player at the club this season, but in recent weeks he has been dropped and now he has left the club. Just the story of our season.
Predicted XI for tomorrow game 4-2-3-1
Travers, Freeman, Conroy, Masterson, Thompson, Palmer, Lyden, Hope, Twine, Jaiyesimi, T.Smith
Wigan Athletic are sitting just one position below Swindon Town in the league one table in 23rd and have played two games less. 21 points from 23 games played and only goal difference separates the two sides in this basement battle. It has been a tough last 5 weeks for Wigan Athletic who have had a plethora of games called of due to weather and down to the COVID19 pandemic, they will be playing catchup in the next few weeks. Leam Richardson is in caretaker charge of the Latics after John Sheridan left Wigan in November to take charge of Swindon Town.
In the last 5 games, Wigan Athletic have won 1 drawn 3 and lost 1. The win was an entertaining 4-3 win over Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium in the final match of 2020. Young Wigan Athletic Striker Kyle Joseph was the hero that day netting a hat-trick for the Latics. The three draws have come against Shrewsbury, Rochdale which ended up 3-3. Wigan were denied victory away at Rochdale thanks to a Stephen Humphries 95th minute equaliser. The final draw was a 0-0 draw against Fleetwood Town. The loss was the final league game that Wigan Athletic have played up to date, it was a 5-0 home drubbing by Blackpool Town.
Leam Richardson has been in charge since November and has done a steady job collecting 14 points from the 11 games in charge, with 3 wins 5 draws and 3 defeats. An average of 1.27 points per game. The two 5-0 home defeats to Rochdale and Blackpool are a concern but he has done a good job in battling circumstances after John Sheridan left. Richardson has switched his tactics up in a short tenure at the club. The main go to tactic has been the 4-2-3-1 with that being played in 5 of the 11 games in charge. Played a 3-5-2 against Rochdale and Accrington Stanley. Played a 4-4-2 against Fleetwood Town recently.
Wigan Athletic on transfer deadline day have strengthen their squad with the loan signings from Rotherham United of striker Jamie Proctor and defender Curtis Tilt. Tilt has previously spent the first half of the campaign at Wigan before heading back to Rotherham and has now returned to the club.
The key players to watch out for Wigan Athletic, Kyle Joseph is an u19 Scottish international and has really hit the ground running for Wigan. Made his debut for the club this season away at Northampton and scored his first goal for the club in a win over Sunderland. Scored a hat-trick away at Burton Albion on the 29th December. Followed that up with a goal in the 3-3 draw at Rochdale just a week later. 5 goals and 1 assist in 14 league games this season. Will Keane who on more than one occasion was linked to a move to the County Ground in the past is another player to watch out for in tomorrow game, Keane has scored 5 in 12 league appearances and that includes 4 in his last 6 appearances.
Tomorrow is make or break for John Sheridan at Swindon Town, potentially could be a lose-lose situation. Win tomorrow and the fans still want him out after the poor form, but if Wigan are victorious it is certainly lights out for Sheridan at Swindon Town.
By Scot Munroe