Richie Wellens spoke to the local press ahead of a stern test at the Energy Check County Ground against Lincoln City.
The Swindon boss said that despite the visitors’ status as league leaders, he was confident in his team’s ability to match anyone in the league on their day.
“They are where they are because they’re probably the best team in the league. They’re probably not the best team in terms of being easy on the eye – however, they’re probably one of the most effective teams. They’re big, strong and aggressive and defend the box very well, and very narrow.
“They’ve got a lot of big players – Rhead and Akinde are a handful for anyone just because of the sheer size of them. They can be direct and play long, but they’ve also got good players – Neil Eardley, Frecklington, who I’ve played with, they’re good footballers, so if they want to play they can. They’ve got a good mix.
“It’s a club that have given the manager a lot of time and he’s implemented his ideas over a period of time. His ideas are coming good.
“They’re a stable club and in a good place at the moment. But I will say this all the time, if we’re on our game then we’re a match for anyone in this league.
As January rolls on, Wellens is increasingly busy welcoming new faces to SN1 with Ali Koiki arriving from Burnley on Thursday. He was quizzed on how you judge a new player’s character.
“The only way you truly find out about someone’s character is when you get them through the door. You tend to find that footballers, if you pick them their character is great. If you don’t, then their characters change which I get and I like as long as it goes from ‘really happy about playing’ to ‘bit disappointed about not playing, but being professional and helping my team-mates’ – that’s fine.
“When it borders on being destructive, and not training properly, I just will not have that. We have a really good group and I don’t want to upset that harmony.”