View From T'other Side!: Vital Swindon Speak
Vital Swindon and Vital Burnley got together ahead of the Capital One Cup clash on Tuesday to ask each other a few questions. Here are Vital Swindon's Gary Stanley's responses...
1) How is the season going so far for Swindon? Better than expected?
After winning League Two last season, there has been a lot of expectation to "repeat the feat". The board has spent a hell of a lot of money this season to get the best players available to come to Swindon. We started off well and had our little blip against Preston, Oxford and Leyton Orient but look as if we are starting to pick up the pace now.
2) What sort of reception do you think Charlie Austin will get from the home fans? Hostile? Friendly? Indifferent?
Hard to say really, I would imagine mostly negative. He did the job here don`t get me wrong but after only 1 season he demanded a transfer and the rest is history, he ended up at Burnley. Austin scored a bucket load of goals for us after joining from Crewe but I think his attitude will have alienated most Town fans. I would imagine a few chants of "one greedy b*stard" will come from the Town End on Tuesday.
3) What are your strengths and what weaknesses might we be able to exploit?
Our key strength would be our midfield, We have two cracking wingers Matt Ritchie and Gary Roberts who have played and been linked to clubs higher up the pyramid. Our only real weakness you could say is that our strikers don`t score goals., That said, we score plenty from midfield and our strikers, specifically Andy Williams create a load of chances.
4) Who are your danger men and why? Conversely who would you gladly pay the taxi for?
We have a lot but the key ones would be Andy Williams and Matt Ritchie. Ritchie was League Two player of the year last season and constantly he is on the highlight reels. Andy Williams is just absolutely brilliant. He has been unlucky not to score more but the effort he puts in to create something is incredible, in fact many would say Williams has played a key part in most goals apart from actually putting them in the back of the net, He will get stuck in and sacrifice his body for the team. As for sending away, probably Darren Ward. He has been pretty poor since joining on loan from Millwall but that said, he was fairly decent this weekend in our 4-0 win over Bournemouth so it is possible he is finally settling in.
5) What are the fans opinion of Paolo Di Canio. Is he capable of getting you promoted to the Championship?
He is the Messiah here, whilst his appointment divided some fans due to his history of fascism etc, he has pretty much won over all Swindon Town fans. He loves it here and we love him and will be absolutely gutted when he inevitably leaves in the future. His dedication to the club and the cause has been phenomenal. Sometimes you question some of the things he does, like taking your only senior goalkeeper off after only 20 minutes, but he has been right and he has won League Two already. Di Canio says he wants to be at Swindon for many years and recently signed a new contract extension with Swindon.
6) Do you consider the Swindon board ambitious enough? Have they generally supported the manager financially over the recent past or would you like to see more players brought in?
Absolutely. They paid off £11M in debt by the old board. The board have backed Paolo to the hilt and have indicated they are prepared to do so if Paolo indicates he needs more money. We are known to many teams to have one of the biggest payrolls in League One and with plenty of money to spend. The board seem committed to the club by ploughing money in and are currently in the process of planning to build a new stadium'
7) Do you have any fond memories of clashes between our two clubs?
Not really, as noted by yourselves, we seem to miss playing each other due to being in different divisions, closest we came to playing Burnley was us visiting Accrington Stanley!
8) What are fans predicting for Swindon this season? What would be a good season for you?
Although we only came up from League Two last season, we expect minimum playoffs or this season will be a complete failure given the investment made. League One is pretty poor this season with teams coming down from the Championship being skint i.e. Pompey and Coventry. Ultimately it is everyone`s ambition to be playing in the Championship next season.
9) What are your predictions for Tuesdays match?
We have become something of Giant killers, beating Wigan 2-1 in the FA Cup and Stoke City 4-3 in the last round of the Capital One Cup so really it`s anyone`s game. Being at home though we have only lost one league game in the last year so we should be a tough bunch to break down. I`ll say Town to win on penalties.
10) Know any good pubs around the ground that allow away fans in?
The Merlin on Drove Road is an away fans friendly pub. Also the club itself has its own away pub at the ground called Bar 71 which is only for away supporters. The only pubs for away fans to avoid really would be the County Ground Hotel located right near the ground and the Tap and Barrel on Manchester Road. If your into your real ales, The Glue Pot is the place to go but is about a 25 minute walk from the ground.
Many thanks to Gary for answering our questions. If you would like to see what answers we gave to Vital Swindon's questions then nip over to the their site!