Westall accepts Swindon’s campaign has lost its way
Updated 3:57pm Tuesday 11th March 2014 in By Tom Bassam, Chief sports writer
SWINDON’S Adam Westall has accepted that his side are playing for pride now as their league season draws to a close.
The rearranged fixture list has pitted Swindon against the top three teams in the group for consecutive weeks. Losses against Oxford and Towcestrians have effectively ensured that they will be playing for places in the middle of the table. This Saturday, the Greenbridge Road side face the last of that trio as they take on Windsor at home.
Swindon are currently bottom of their own mini-league in the middle of the South West 1 East - where six teams are separated by just five points. The Greenbridge Road side are ninth but 12 points clear of next placed Newbury. Sean Lynn’s side could jump to fifth if results go their way this weekend but the top three are way out sight.
It’s an odd position for Westall and his team, who have been perennial challengers near the top of the league but find themselves out of the running this season.
“It’s about pride and performances now. We play for fun but no one wants to lose, losing is not fun.
“I think we’ve been lucky over the last few years, we’ve been one of those top four sides and we’re at the point now where we’re rebuilding.”
“We’ve got five or six home games now until the end of the season. We like playing at home and it represents a chance for us to get some wins under our belt and play some rugby.”
The weather has probably affected Swindon more than some of the other clubs in the league. Postponements have been rife across the region because of the excessive rainfall but playing in the wet has a direct impact on Swindon’s ball-in-hand style of play.
Westall accepted that was the limitation of playing that way but that it’s something ingrained into the squad.
He said: “We’ve had the wettest winter in 250 years which doesn’t help with the way we play.
“I think it’s part of the Loader legacy that we like to chuck it around. To go to a controlled, measured, game and slow it down – like teams do against us – would be a big change.”
Westall was hopeful that home advantage would give Swindon the edge this Saturday.
“We’re at home for this one so we always fancy our chances. On paper we’re stronger at home.”
Swindon are without hooker Ben Saville and number eight Tom Mannion, though long-term absentees Nick Warren and Kevin Gough are on the verge of return and could feature.