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Match Previews

HERE'S LOOKING AT YOU: Swindon Town

We take a closer look at Saturday's opponents

6 April 2018

The Blues will be looking to bounce back from an Easter Monday defeat as they travel to Swindon Town.

With both sides still in play-off contention as the season nears its end, the clash at the County Ground could have a big bearing on the Sky Bet League Two table come the end of the season.

Swindon themselves will be keen for a positive result following successive draws, which should lead to an intriguing contest.

Ahead of the big game, we take a look at some key talking points from the Robins’ camp and pick out some ones to watch on Saturday afternoon:

Play-Off Contenders

Swindon are still well and truly in contention for a finish in the top seven and sit just three points outside the play-off places in ninth place.

Having been tipped by many to be promotion contenders this season following their relegation from Sky Bet League One last year, Swindon have delivered on their pre-season billing and have been towards the top end of the table throughout the campaign.

While their recent form has been stuttering – with just one win in their last six games – Swindon have managed not to lose too much ground on the top seven.

The Robins will be desperate to rediscover their earlier form, however, and will look to address a leaky defence which has shipped 60 goals this campaign.

New Manager Seeking Consistency

After the highly-successful David Flitcroft was poached by promotion-chasing Mansfield Town, Swindon swooped to secure the services of experienced manager Phil Brown.

And while Brown’s reign got off to a good start with a 3-1 win over Cambridge United, the Robins have failed to win in the following three games and have dropped points against Exeter, Morecambe and Crawley.

Brown will therefore be desperate to see his side find a level of consistency in the final weeks of the season – if they can’t find that then the play-offs may well prove out of their reach.

What does history tell us?

United and Swindon have met 43 times in total, with the Robins victorious on 14 occasions compared to the Blues’ ten wins. 19 of the encounters have seen the spoils shared.

The Blues have won just one of their last five games against the Robins – a 1-0 triumph in 2014 thanks to a Gary Madine strike – and indeed pur meeting earlier this season ended in a 1-0 win for Swindon on the opening day of the campaign.

You have to go back to February 2011 to find the last time the Cumbrians won at the County Ground as James Berrett’s first half strike wrapped up a 1-0 win.

Ones to Watch

Donal McDermott - A former Manchester City youth product, McDermott burst onto the scene with a loan spell at Chesterfield in 2009 before joining Huddersfield Town on a permanent deal. He dropped off the radar following spells with Ramsbottom United and Salford City before returning to the Football League with Rochdale. He made 54 appearances in two years at Spotland before joining Swindon this summer. A tricky winger, McDermott will look to provide plenty of opportunities for the Robins and is a real attacking spark.

Luke Norris - A lively forward, Norris joined Swindon last season and scored 4 times in 39 appearances. He began his career with Brentford and, after several loan spells, joined Gillingham. He made 70 appearances at Priestfield before making the move to the County Ground. A real presence in the area, United’s defenders will have to watch Norris carefully this weekend – he has already netted against the Blues this season.

James Dunne - An experienced head at this level, Dunne moved to the County Ground this summer after a two-year spell at Cambridge. A product of Arsenal’s youth academy, Dunne first played in League Two with Exeter before later representing Stevenage and Portsmouth before joining the U’s in 2015. A tough-tackling midfielder, Dunne has now made over 275 career appearances and will bring some vital experience to a fairly youthful Robins’ side.


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