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Match Previews

Preview: Williams on Southend

8 January 2016

LUKE Williams admits that last weekend’s fixture postponement has been a blessing in disguise for the Town.

The caretaker manager added that the break has afforded Swindon the opportunity to prepare meticulously for Saturday’s visit of Southend.

Williams also provided an update on Nathan Thompson’s comeback from injury after the Town skipper played in a development game at Aston Villa in midweek.

“It (the postponement) has given us a chance to get well-prepared for Saturday,” he said. “We’ve had a second team (development) game in the week so it’s given us a chance to get Nathan Thompson closer to the pitch. It’s one less game that he’s missed and I think we all know how important he is.

“He looked exactly how we’d expect him too and he reported back to us that he felt how he expected to feel. We are going to treat him with kid gloves and make sure we don’t risk a reoccurrence. Nathan, I’m sure, will be frustrated and will want to get on the pitch as soon as possible but we’ve got a responsibility to him. We know how important he is so we won’t be risking him too early.

“Most people know Nathan’s personality. He would play with both legs broken and not tell you if he could get away with it. He’s an incredible character, the same as his brother. We have to take that out of Nathan’s hands and do everything as cautiously as we can with him.”

Southend visit SN1 on Saturday in what will be Town’s first fixture of 2016. After coming out on top in the return fixture back in August, Williams conceded that it will be a difficult game for the home side this weekend.

“I’ve watched them a couple of times,” he said. “We played them earlier in the season and they’re a good side. They’ve got very experienced manager and they’ve got momentum with them as well so it will be a tough game, we know that. They’ve got a well-balanced team that’s got a bit of everything and that means they’re difficult to keep out and they’re difficult to beat.

“I think they’ll come with a game plan to try and beat us instead of trying to catch us. We’re ready for whatever tactics they adopt on the day. Both teams can score and both teams have shown they can concede goals as well.”

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