CONTROLLING the pace of their FA Cup clash with Cheltenham Town will be the key to a Swindon Town success at Whaddon Road, according to midfielder Louis Thompson.
Swindon lie 34 places above their hosts ahead of the first-round meeting this weekend and will be hoping to avoid a third consecutive exit from the competition at the same stage, following back-to-back defeats to non-league Macclesfield in 2012 and 2013.
In order to skirt around the banana skin, therefore, Thompson believes Town must wrestle control of the match from the off, diffuse any hostility in the home crowd and dictate the tempo of the match.
He said: “We’ve got to be responsible enough to control the tempo, play at our pace, take the sting out of the game and really show them why we’ve been playing so well. If we can do that and stamp our authority on it I think we’ll come out with a win.
“The boys are mature enough to be able to do that themselves so I don’t think the gaffer’s put a real onus on calming things down. He likes to let the boys figure it out for themselves – it’s part of a growing-up process for us as well.”
Meanwhile, the 19-year-old stressed that, while the 1-0 victory over high-flying Preston North End at the County Ground on Tuesday night did no harm to the morale amongst the Robins squad, the Town dressing room’s confidence levels were already hitting lofty heights.
“We’re full of confidence but we were full of confidence from the start to the season we’ve had,” he said.
“We may have stepped off the gas in the last couple of games but on the whole we’ve been really happy with the start we’ve made. It bodes well for the rest of the season.”