SWINDON TOWN: Derbies as fiery in youths as seniors, claims Louis
THE experiences of seasons of local grudge matches in the Swindon Town youth team mean Louis Thompson can’t wait to get stuck into Bristol City this weekend.
The midfielder, a product of the Robins’ academy, is well-versed in West Country derby day rhetoric having spent many of his formative years battling the likes of City, Bristol Rovers, Reading and Oxford for regional bragging rights.
While those games may not have featured five-figure audiences, Thompson stressed that the atmosphere was just as hostile, although he claimed he was not one to get involved.
Thompson told the Advertiser: “It was pretty similar.
“It was without the fans but the tackles were flying in, there was a bit of pushing and shoving and that and it was a case of being desperate to get one over on them.
“I played them a few times and each of them twice a season and it was the same in the football sense but without the crowd behind you. It was very heated, there were a few bookings and sendings-off in those games.
“I don’t think I was. I think I was better behaved. I may have picked up a couple of yellows but not a red.
“Playing in those games before you know what to expect. We don’t need to tell the lads any more. We know what needs to be done, not just for the derby but for the league table.
“We haven’t won enough games so far, which we should have done and we feel a bit hard done by. Saturday is the perfect time to put that right.”
At the beginning of the season, Thompson set his sights on making 15 appearances for Town this term.
So far the 19-year-old has featured five times for the Robins, including one start, but with the midfield of Massimo Luongo, Ryan Mason and Yaser Kasim operating so well, he is happy to bide his time on the substitutes’ bench.
“To be watching it, you’re happy to watch,” he said. “You can’t expect yourself to go in there and play instead of the boys that are playing so well at the moment.
“We’re dominating it, that’s the engine room. I’m being patient and seeing what happens.”
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