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Match Previews

BIG MATCH PREVIEW: We take a look ahead to the visit of Swindon

A closer look at this weekend's opponents

7 March 2019

The Robins will provide us with a much stiffer test than the one we faced at the County Ground in November as they continue to push on and improve under new manager Richie Wellens.

Richie WellensThis year has been particularly good to them with just two defeats from their nine games in 2019.  

They are currently unbeaten in four, and you have to go all the way back to the middle of December to find the last time they lost on their travels (that's five consecutive games).

Their upturn in fortunes under Wellens has made them serious play-off contenders, but they know as well as anybody that the momentum must be maintained in what is a tight and competitive division.

Club accounts revealed this week that owner Lee Power has put in close to £6m of his own money in a bid to breathe new life into the club, and plans are afoot for improved training facilities as the club looks to mount a climb through the divisions.

Michael Doughty is the main goal threat with 11 to his name this season, but a slick passing approach means that he won't be the only threat to watch come the weekend.


Manager’s thoughts ...

Steven PressleySpeaking ahead of the weekend game, manager Steven Pressley said: "We’re under no illusions that this will be a tough game, but that’s the nature of this division.

"Our own recent run has shown us the fine margins we’re dealing with, with some good performances not being reflected in, or rewarded by, the results we all wanted to see.

"We still haven’t given up hope on automatic promotion, and we know how important these next two home games could be in terms of shaping the remainder of our season. If we can pick up maximum points we’ll be right back in the mix for those top places.

"The previous manager and the squad have put a lot of hard work into getting us in the position we’re in, and we must do everything we can to make sure that doesn’t get undone.

"As we come to the final part of the season, it’s so important that our experienced players show the way. It isn’t enough at this stage of the season to put in an ok performance, I need players that want to be the best player on the pitch and, if they can’t do that, they need to be the best team-mate they can be.

"It's by staying together in that way that we will achieve what our goal has always been, and that's to secure promotion come the end of the season."

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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.


Head to Head

The sides have met on 45 occasions previously, with almost half of those games ending in stalemate. Swindon shade it ever so slightly in league competition with 12 victories compared to United's 10.

  Carlisle wins Draws Swindon wins
League 10 19 12
FA Cup 1 1 2
Total 11 20 14

Our first meeting with this weekend's visitors this season was for our November trip to the County Ground. New boss Richie Wellens had just taken over, and he saw first hand the job ahead as the Blues cruised to a 4-0 victory. Ashley Nadesan set the tone with the opener just before break, and that was followed by a second half brace from Regan Slater and a fine finish from Jamie Devitt.

Watch the highlights from that game here:

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 fixture 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:


Man in the middle

Ben TonerOur referee for this game is Mr Ben Toner. Ben has taken charge of 29 games so far this season, showing 82 yellow cards and five reds. 

He has been the referee for three United's games in this campaign to date, the first being the 2-1 victory over Port Vale at Brunton Park in August where a Danny Grainger penalty and a Tom Parkes header were enough to see the Blues earn the three points. 

The Checkatrade Trophy fixture at the Stadium of Light was the second United game he oversaw, wit the Black Cats running out as 3-1 winners. Ashley Nadesan got the United goal. 

And we last saw him on New Year's Day for our away game at Morecambe. Jamie Devitt and Jack Sowerby got the goals, and Kelvin Etuhu and Anthony Gerrard had their names taken on the day.

Referee – Ben Toner
Assistant Referee 1 – Richard Wild
Assistant Referee 2 – Graeme Fyvie
Fourth Official – Andrew Kitchen


Ticket information

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