• Jack Bishop


Updated: Feb 2, 2021

What’s going wrong at Swindon?

After the sides hugely disappointing midweek defeat to Plymouth, Swindon sit in a dreary 23rd as the season enters just past the halfway point.

The question is, what’s going wrong for the west country outfit who at the start of the season I predicted as a play-off dark horse?

Hopes were certainly high going into this season with former manager Richie Wellens originally at the helm, who led the side to Sky Bet League Two champions through PPG last season.

However, there was a shock to most town fans as on the 4th of November the Mancunian switched Wiltshire for nearer to home with a move to League Two side Salford City.

With the majority of the season remaining to play, the next appointment from owner Lee Power would be one of his most important recruitments since his tenure at the club.

A very mixed reaction from the fanbase followed after John Sheridan was confirmed as the man to fill the boots of his successful predecessor

Sheridan had spent the first part of the season at Wigan, being appointed by their administrators as they were dealing with financial troubles. He ended his contract at the Latics to join Swindon on the 11th of November.

With Sheridan outlining in his press conferences his main aim to improve the defence with the side at the time having one of the highest goals against in the league, it would have definitely sent an element of hope into the fanbase.

However, it certainly hasn’t been a start as he would have planned his career at Town.

Tuesday night’s defeat meant it was a ninth defeat for John Sheridan, contrasted with a disappointing three wins and three draws.

Additionally, his side are averaging just over two goals conceded per game, a statistic which does not replicate the words he echoed about tightening up the defence in his press conferences when he signed.

Despite these dreary statistics, there has been a recurring theme that Sheridan often praises his team’s performance for ‘playing well’ despite losing, or a case of not quite getting the job done. However, for the side to be unlucky in the majority of the nine losses would be quite extraordinary.

But last game even he wasn’t able to put a positive spin on his side’s lacklustre performance, a worrying display where it did portray the look of a side not playing for their manager.

In an effort to avoid the downward spiral of form, signings and loan returns have been made in January which appeared as positive additions to help the club climb up the table.

An example of this is young talent Scott Twine, who has widely impressed on loan at Newport County this season in League Two.

On his first start since the loan recall, the youngster scored a potential goal of the season strike against Ipswich Town which helped his side secure a vital three points, what looked like a huge turning point in the sides season.

The turning point was short lived when Town produced yet another disappointing outing against Doncaster the game after, where it seemed Sheridan’s side had returned already to their old habits.

After that, apart from an impressive 45 minutes against Charlton where they still managed to chuck away a 2-0 lead to leave with a point, Swindon have pretty much returned to their old selves.

It is not that players such as Scott Twine or even a new striker addition in Norwich starlet Tyrese Omotoye do not inject quality into the side. The problem is that the manager is not getting as much out of the side as he should be.

The quality of the side has on occasions came into fruition but nowhere near enough as should be. It’s up to current manager John Sheridan to continue to attempt to try get more out of his squad.

Although this has not been effective so far, he has just been able to bring in his own players in the January window so it could be seen reasonable to give Sheridan a chance with these signings.

On the other hand, the club could opt for a replacement in the managerial role which could potentially bring life into the squad, which many of the town faithful are calling for. The quality of the squad is evident and with the right direction, should be much higher than where they are now.

The question is, is John Sheridan the right direction for Swindon Town FC?