DAN THE FAN: Questions to answer after dramatic slump
3:00pm Thursday 13th March 2014 in Sport
IF Swindon Town’s play-off hopes weren’t over before this week, Milton Keynes and Wolves have firmly hammered the final nail into the coffin.
This week’s results leave Town with just one win in their past 11 games in all competitions – and without a home win in seven weeks.
On Saturday we face Bristol City at Ashton Gate.
On January 11, Town were 14 points ahead of our local rivals, but if we lose this weekend, City will only be three points behind .
Why has our season gone from competing for a play-off place to struggling to finish in mid-table?
Injures to key players have been a deciding factor – at points this year we’ve been without the likes of Nile Ranger, Ryan Mason, Troy Archibald-Henville, Nathan Thompson and Alex Pritchard.
But one of the key reasons for our dip in form has been a lack of a plan B.
I totally respect Lee Power and Mark Cooper’s determination to play the game in a certain way, and at times its been great to watch.
But against certain teams, it hasn’t worked. Either the opposing team plays the same style and is simply just better, or they set up in a way to stop us playing.
There have been far too many occasions where we have been happy to pass the ball sideways and our opponents are more than happy to watch us waste time and possession.
The opposition has done their homework and knows how to play against us and, instead of playing a different style or formation, we stick with the same routine.
Cooper is a nice guy and a football man. There’s no doubt that the guy knows his stuff, but my faith in him is starting to wane.
I don’t see any point in him leaving the club this season, but I’d like to see how he gets the players to react and how we finish the season.
I want him to succeed, if he’s successful then so are Swindon Town, and having stability at your club is best in the long term.
But if this current form continues to the end of the season, then Power will have surely have a decision to make.
Some people point out that at the start of the season we expected just to survive, and I agree.
But as the season progressed and we saw what our best XI was capable off, expectations rightly changed.
Just because we’ve started to underperform that’s no reason to start backtracking.
The Bristol City game is an important one, not only for the obvious local bragging rights, but to start rebuilding our crumbling season and add some respectability to the rest of the campaign.