Town Skipper Nathan Thompson is hurting after relegation to the Sky Bet League Two was confirmed on Saturday and he was honest in his assessment of what went wrong this season.
The Reds’ fate was sealed last weekend following a 2-1 defeat to Scunthorpe United and they will now ply their trade in the fourth tier of English football in 2017/18.
Thompson, who has missed the last few games because of injury, was visibly upset in the wake of the defeat to United and he admitted that Town’s relegation will go down as the worst moment of his career.
“It was the lowest day of the fourteen years that I’ve been here,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk.
“I know that we’ve been relegated before but I wasn’t really part of the team as such then, but to captain the side this year and to be relegated with a game to go was very, very disappointing.
“Saturday was a very, very strange and horrible feeling that I never want to experience again and I’m sure the fans will echo that.
“It was horrible and uncomfortable.
“The little run of results we had a few weeks ago epitomised our whole season in that we are capable of beating teams at the top of the table, the likes of Fleetwood and Millwall, and then we seem to struggle against teams lower down the league.
“The likes of MK Dons, AFC Wimbledon and Walsall all had nothing to play for and it was an opportunity to go and get maximum points, we failed to deliver that and ultimately it has cost us.
“It is extremely disappointing because there is a bunch of capable lads in that dressing room and when they look back and reflect on this season, they will be disappointed knowing that they haven’t achieved anything they set out to and being relegated this season is a result of poor performances and a lack of consistency.
“Everyone, maybe bar Sheffield United because they are the runaway leaders, have beat everyone in this division and it was a case of making sure that we followed up a good win with another good win – that is what has been disappointing.
“We went and achieved six points against Millwall and Fleetwood and then followed that up with one or two points in the following three games and that’s not good enough when you are fighting relegation.
“It is very disappointing for everybody associated with the football club and now it really is back to the drawing board.”
Town bring the curtain down on their 2016/17 campaign away at Charlton Athletic on Sunday (12pm KO), and Thompson is hoping the boys who play are able to end a disappointing and frustrating season on a high.
“Let’s not be naive, we know that there isn’t much to play for and Charlton are in exactly the same situation,” he added.
“I’ve been involved before where we’ve been relegated and it was the first time I had my opportunity, so I’m sure the manager will make a few changes because there are still decisions to be made on certain lads and they will be going out to impress and showcase what they’ve got for a new contract next season.
“It is very flat around the place but it is about personal pride and being a professional. The players have got a job to do on Sunday and the fans deserve that and I’m sure they will travel in their numbers.
“I’m still being asked for tickets and it just shows the support we do have. It is up to the lads now to showcase what they are about and show their pride and professional attitude.”