STRIKING the right balance in midfield could prove fundamental to whether Swindon Town can turn their fortunes around his season.
An area of the pitch that has become disjointed in recent weeks, it appears head coach Luke Williams is doing all he can to find the remedy.
Ben Gladwin and Charlie Colkett were brought into the side during the January transfer window to provide, what appeared at the time, to be some much-needed attacking impetus to the middle-third.
However, with neither being renowned for their defensive attributes, their inclusion in the side has put a strain on the holding midfield role, which is an important cog in the working of the 3-5-2 formation.
With Yaser Kasim struggling for form, Williams has tried various members of his squad in that position with varying success, the latest being central defender Dion Conroy.
Rohan Ince is available for selection again this weekend following the conclusion of his court case, in which he was cleared, to provide a more natural player to fill the role, but Williams admits that striking that balance in the centre of the park is more than troublesome.
“It’s proving to be very, very difficult because we cannot win games,” he said.
“We don’t score enough goals and we concede too many, so we put more defensive players in there, and we’re still not able to win games, and at the end (against Northampton), we had an extremely offensive midfield with John (Goddard), Ben (Gladwin) and Charlie (Colkett), and we’re still struggling to create.
“So it’s proving very difficult to find the right mix.”
For Williams, it has been an area of the pitch that has received a lot of attention in training in recent weeks to try to seek a solution.
With confidence low, it is proving difficult to get that slickness of passing required to move the ball through the thirds, but Williams will not resort to long balls from the back, a tactic he has seen fail already this season.
“We seem to be stuttering to get (to the final third) and we’ve tried missing the middle out earlier in the season and being a lot more direct, and we didn’t get the results that we wanted doing that either,” he added.
“I’ve been asked to take full control of the team and do what I believe is right, and try to bring the ball to the box in a controlled way, and I think when we’ve done that, we’ve scored, but we need to do it more often and do it slicker.
“When we get to the final third and we get to the 18-yard box, we need to make it count because too many times, (we make) the wrong decision – somebody makes the wrong touch and misses the opportunity to break into the box to make the final pass.”