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MATCH PREVIEW | Swindon Town vs Stockport County
League leaders Stockport County travel to Swindon this weekend.
The Hatters have not lost since the 26th of August so Swindon will need to rapidly recover their early season form to put up a fight against the side on a 12-game winning streak.
Swindon’s form does not make for great reading three league losses on the bounce and winless in five. Their last performance against Colchester highlighted all of the issues in this Swindon side. Despite having a stronger first half than recent games and going in at halftime 1-0 up, the second half was a complete collapse. Three goals given up and only having one shot on target showed the major flaw in this side.
Town needs to find a performance from somewhere. You will be hard-pressed to find a single fan who thinks Swindon will topple the imperious Stockport but miracles do happen.
Getting the confidence back
Swindon are clearly a side low on confidence, the loss to Aldershot should have been an awakening in the squad that defensive solidity is key. Swindon can score goals for fun as much as they want but if they are wide open at the back what is the point?
Manager Michael Flynn has a big task ahead of him to rebuild the squad's confidence in his press conference he had this to say: “It’s about getting those building blocks back again as they’re a young squad..
“If you go and beat Stockport who are flying and are everyone’s favourites…surely that gives you confidence.”
Flynn is right in terms of age Swindon do have the second youngest squad with an average age of 23.1 only beating Crewe with a squad of 23.0. On top of this Swindon also have the joint third youngest squad in the league with 24 players only Crewe with 23 and Morecambe with 22 having less.
So how can you compete at the top of the table with an inexperienced and shallow squad? The answer is you cannot. Notts County who sit in the top three have 24 players also but an average squad age of 27.8 shows they have the mentality to fight.
Stockport on the other hand has the largest squad in the league with an average age of 24.3 giving them depth and room to grow. January is crucial if Swindon want to push into the play-off positions, reinforcements are desperately needed as well as experience.
Swindon and Stockport have only played eachother three times since 2010 so using the three most recent fixtures Swindon have only drawn once and lost the other two occasions. The most recent showing was a 1-0 loss at the County Ground.
When looking at the all-time head-to-head record Swindon have a better record of 16 wins to Stockport's 13.
A win for Swindon would move them right back into the play-off places, but due to the quality of the opposition, a victory does seem very unlikely.
Swindon Town League Form:
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Stockport County League Form:
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Swindon need a response to their recent form but playing Stockport in the midst of a 12-game winning streak is not the side you want to be facing. The Swindon attack will be doing what they do best but once again the defensive frailties will show.
If Swindon want a result then they must have a full 90 minutes of top-level performing no moments of madness, no switching off in the second half, and only then will the game be close.
Swindon Town 1-3 Stockport County
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