Can Swindon Town overcome defensive issues to survive?

By Staff Reporter - 23 November 2020

Clubs & ActivitiesSport

Swindon Town enjoyed an excellent start to their League One campaign following their promotion last season. The Robins overcame Rochdale on the opening day of the campaign before defeating Burton Albion on home soil.

The club then put together a run of only one win in eight matches, while manager Richie Wellens departed the County Ground for League Two outfit Salford City. John Sheridan arrived to replace Wellens in the second week of November.

The Robins claimed a point from his first match in charge, notching a late equaliser in a thrilling comeback on the road against Shrewsbury. However, Swindon was then hammered at home by Accrington Stanley, putting Sheridan's men in a perilous position above the relegation zone.

The team could be bound for an immediate return to the fourth tier of English football, although the bookmakers are confident that they can avoid the drop with odds in the 7/4 range for the club to be relegated to League Two. There are fans of football teams all over the world, and there are ardent followers of League One football in the United States. Football fans about trends in the game and it might time to get value on the Robins for the drop to get ahead of the bookmakers.

In the USA, regulations regarding betting have been relaxed in many states across the country, therefore fans outside of the United Kingdom can still have access to the best legal betting sites. Monitoring the leading bookmakers on the market and their offers allow punters to gain the optimum value on the Robins. This is done by looking at the best sites and giving tips and guides on what to look for when betting. There are even details on the futures market, for those who want to try it. For the Robins to descend back into the fourth tier, and there are good reasons to believe that it could become a possibility as the campaign progresses unless Sheridan can halt their slide.

After 11 matches, Swindon had the worst defence in League One, conceding 24 goals. Their first two matches under Sheridan did not help those figures, conceding three goals apiece to Shrewsbury and Accrington. Keeper Joe Fryer endured a nightmare against the latter. First, he slipped to allow Akin Odimayo's backpass to travel into the net, while he was beaten by a close-range header for the second.

The defending against Shrewsbury was horrendous, to say the least, allowing the Shrews to dominate at set-pieces. Sheridan has a major challenge on his hands to shore up his side at the back. There is enough experience in the ranks to steady the ship notably Paul Caddis and Jonathan Grounds, but it is extremely concerning that the Robins failed to keep a clean sheet through the first quarter of the term.

Fortunately, the club looks to be fairly potent in the final third. No team in the bottom half of League One has scored more goals than Swindon before the end of November. The burden is not falling on one player to carry the Robins as the goals have been shared around the side. Loanee Matthew Smith has been impressive from the middle of the park.

Hallam Hope, Anthony Grant, Joel Grant, and Tyler Smith have also been active in the final third. Jack Payne was signed from Lincoln in the summer and he has provided creativity from the midfield, earning three assists in his first 11 matches. If Swindon is going to beat the drop those players will have to continue to perform, while Sheridan will also be hopeful of a resurgence from 32-year-old Brett Pitman, who endured a quiet start of the season.

The Robins set dangerous trends in November with their performances at the back. However, there is hope that their attacking flair could bail them out of trouble. Sheridan has time on his side, although the challenge will be great to save the club from an immediate return to League Two.

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