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Match Previews

BIG MATCH PREVIEW: United return to league action at Swindon

United head to the County Ground this weekend

16 November 2018

It's back to league action for the Blues this weekend as they travel to the County Ground to face Swindon Town.

Steven AlzateThe Robins have had a tough time on their home patch this season, and you have to look as far back as the middle of August for the last time they registered a league victory at the County Ground - a 3-2 success against Tranmere Rovers.

They've had four draws and two defeats since then, meaning they've taken just four points from the 18 on offer, which leaves them in the wrong half of the table and with much work to do.

Relief came results wise on Saturday when Steven Alzate bagged his third of the season with just 15 minutes left to play against National League North strugglers York City in their FA Cup first round meeting.

It did little to lighten the mood, though, as news later filtered out confirming that management duo Phil Brown and Neil McDonald had been relieved of their duties, leaving the Robins to search for their fifth managerial appointment in just three years.

Former-Oldham boss Richie Wellens was appointed on Tuesday morning, and he quickly set about the task of getting to know his new squad with the assistance of his new assistant Noel Hunt.

Back on the pitch and steady performer Michael Doughty has five goals and two assists to his name, so he'll need to be closely marshalled, and Elijah Adebayo is another who has found the back of the net this season with four strikes on his card. A mention in despatches goes to Steven Alzate with three goals and three assists.

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Manager’s thoughts ...

John SheridanSpeaking ahead of the weekend game, manager John Sheridan said: "Obviously they parted ways with their manager earlier in the week but we have to ignore all of that.

"If anything it should focus us even more, because it won't change the fact that the players will be going out there to perform for themselves, their fans and for Richie Wellens, who will be looking for those who have the hunger to help him turn things round.

"They won't be happy as a club with where they are in the table and they'll see this week as a chance to draw a line and get going. We have to respect that but, as I keep saying, it's more about us than anything else.

"The last two results have got us up and running again and our away form has been good, as have the performances on the road. We know if we concentrate on the things we do well and work hard on the areas where we need to be better we'll give Swindon a good game."

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Did You Know?

+ Swindon won the 1970 Anglo-Italian Cup after defeating Napoli 3-0. They also went on to win the inaugural Anglo-Italian League Cup Winners’ Cup, beating Roma 5-3 over two legs.

+ The Robins have played at The County Ground for 121 years, having moved to the stadium in 1896.

County Ground

+ There have been five different Swindon Town crests since the clubs inception, with the current design coming into effect in 2007 after a public vote.

+ Shortly after moving to the County Ground the Robins changed their club colours to green and white but, following problems obtaining green dyes, they reverted to the traditional red in 1901.

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Head to Head

The sides have met on 44 occasions previously, with almost half of those games ending in stalemate. Swindon shde it ever so slightly in league competition with 12 victories compared to United's nine.

  Carlisle wins Draws Swindon wins
League 9 19 12
FA Cup 1 1 2
Total 10 20 14

Last season saw the Robins pop our bubble on day one when Luke Norris and Paul Mullin scored either side of the break here at Brunton Park. A late fightback, sparked by a well-taken Luke Joyce goal, saw United try to get something out of the game but the visitors held on to take their opening game points home.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

It was a much closer affair at the County Ground in April when the sides slugged their way to a 0-0 draw. There were half chances, and the game could have gone either way, but the Blues dug deep to earn their draw in the end.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

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Man in the middle

Graham SalisburyOur referee for this game is Mr Graham Salisbury. He has taken charge of 14 games so far this season and has shown 51 yellow cards and three reds.

The last time we saw him was on the opening day of this season when we made the long trip south to face Exeter City. Nicky Law and Jonathan Forte put the Grecians two goals to the good with less than 30 minutes played, but Richie Bennett gave the Blues hope when he struck back just before the break.

United battled away, but a late sucker punch from Tristan Abrahams kept the points in Exeter. Jamie Devitt was the only name taken on the day.

A regular referee of our games over the years [including the Wembley final against Southampton in 2010] still one of his busiest evenings with us was for the Checkatrade Trophy group game at Fleetwood last season. A total of 10 cards were shown - including a red for Harvey Rodgers - with Danny Grainger, Mark Ellis, Jamie Devitt, Gary Liddle, Tom Miller and Hallam Hope going in the book for the Blues.

Referee – Graham Salisbury
Assistant Referee 1 – Garry Maskell
Assistant Referee 2 – Paul Lister
Fourth Official – Gregory Read

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Ticket information

Click HERE for full ticket information.

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