Town Head Coach Luke Williams sat down with the local media on Monday to preview tonight’s Emirates FA Cup First Round Replay against Eastleigh at The County Ground (7.45pm Kick-Off)…
ON PREPARING FOR TONIGHT’S GAME:
“I don’t think there will be a huge amount of rest. The players are working pretty much flat out and we’ve had something like twenty games in eleven weeks, which is a tough schedule but we’re grateful for the games and it means we’re still involved in everything.
“The worst case scenario was a replay in terms of fixture congestion but we would rather be in the cup than out, so the players need to take it upon themselves to rest and recover as well as they possibly can in-between training sessions and games.”
“It is more important we work tactically ourselves and get our own house in order rather than worry too much about the opposition. With all due respect to every opponent, whether it be Eastleigh or Charlton, we need to make sure that the Swindon players know exactly what is expected of them”
ON THE BENEFITS OF HOME ADVANTAGE:
“The pitch here will suit us better for sure and it was well documented that Eastleigh made their pitch the minimum requirement allowed to try and deny space for us.
“We’ve got a reputation for being expansive with the ball and making it difficult for our opponents to cover big distances to defend, so that was very sensible of them but it won’t be the same at The County Ground.
“There will be a bigger area to play on and the actual quality of the surface can help us to make passes more crisp and with less touches, so I hope that swings the tie in our favour.”
ON ADDING CONSISTENCY TO TOWN’S GAME:
“The message to the group is very clear. There has been a number of occasions this season where we’ve been outstanding, we were outstanding away from home at Oldham and then we were outstanding for 45 minutes away at Shrewsbury and then we were very poor.
“We beat Rochdale 3-0 at home and they hardly had a chance on goal, we looked fantastic but then we were very poor.
“I don’t believe that will happen again. We’ve got the experience and the presence of Tim (Sherwood) with us and I think now the group are going to be able to find the consistency that we’ve been searching for.
“I’m quite confident of that.
“I don’t imagine there being a hiccup.”
ON THE POSSIBILITY OF REACHING THE THIRD ROUND OF THE FA CUP:
“We expect the players to now go on and win those fixtures. I think it is fair for us to put that pressure on them and say they need to go through these two ties.
“It is over to them.
“I’m very confident in this group.”
ON THE IMPORTANCE OF A CUP RUN:
“A good run in the FA Cup would bring much needed revenue into the club and help us to start being in a position where, if need be, we can spend more money to bring in special players to help us get out of this division.
“And when we do, and we will, we are going to get out of the division in a manner that makes us safe and that we are ready to rebuild for the Championship and go on and eventually try to mount a campaign to get into the Premier League.
“An FA Cup run could make a huge difference because you are looking at potentially a huge revenue that we’ve got no other way of making.”