Swindon Town welcome Crystal Palace Under-21s to The County Ground tomorrow evening, Tuesday 30 August, as they kick off their Papa John’s Trophy campaign.
First-Team Head Coach, Scott Lindsey, has been addressing the media today as he looks ahead to a tricky test for his charges.
Here’s what he had to say in his pre-match press conference earlier today…
The injury front…
“At the moment our injury list is no different and there’s nothing new to report.
“We’ve got a couple with a few bumps and bruises from Saturday but nothing serious.
“Ellis (Iandolo) is still a couple of weeks away from full contact training, and Reece is gradually coming back into the fold, but won’t be featuring against Palace.
“He’s back in light training but needs a little while longer before he can return.”
Scott on what he’s hoping to achieve from the Palace game…
“Of course the biggest thing is that we want to win the game – that’s obviously a given.
“However, this match provides the ideal opportunity for some of our players who haven’t had too much game time so far this season to step up and get minutes.
“It also give me the opportunity to rest a few as well which is important as the games are coming thick and fast. We’ve been organising training accordingly so the players are ready to feature tomorrow evening and others for Saturday against Gillingham.
“First and foremost this game is a chance for players who haven’t had much time in the first team to come in and make their mark.
“Of course it’s always difficult when you put a side together that maybe haven’t played as a unit too often or at all as yet, and I obviously take that into account, but they’re training together everyday and have good relationships, and I’m looking forward to seeing what they can do.”
Scott on the difficulties of playing an Under-21 side…
“Of course we’ve done our background research on Palace.
“We’ve looked at their previous games and how they setup, but with the youth sides you often see changes to their personnel on a regular basis which makes it slightly more tricky to prepare, but we have an idea of the formation they’ll play and how they’ll approach the tie, even if they do switch things up.
“But we concentrate on ourselves first and foremost, and if we make sure we do the right things with the ball, we’ll get a positive result.
“We’ll more than likely have the upper hand when it comes to physicality, but they’ll use the ball well and try to keep possession, so it could be a really interesting game and one I’m really looking forward to.”
Scott on Town’s right-back position…
“Obviously Ronan (Darcy) has come in and played in the position for the past couple of games and done really well in my opinion.
“But we do have the option to flip to a back three if we want by playing a 3-5-2 rather than the 4-3-3, but it is a position we are looking to strengthen if we can and that’s an ongoing process.
“We’re always assessing the options available to us and we have a lot of versatile players in the squad which is great, but we are aware this is an area we may need someone in long term.”
Scott on his search for a striker…
“It’s an ongoing process and lots of work is happening behind the scenes and has been for some time.
“The suspension to Harry McKirdy hasn’t sped this up and we are mindful of what we need to bring in.
“You saw Saturday that we created a number of chances in the game, so I’m confident we’ll always score goals. Jacob will add to his tally this season as he works incredibly hard, there’s Harry of course, but players like Tyrese, Jonny (Williams), Ben Gladwin and Saidou (Khan) who can score.
“We feel we are getting closer to where we want to be, and we are edging closer to bringing one in and I’m hopeful this will be done soon.”
Scott on Lewis Ward’s future…
“We’ve had no bids or offers for Lewis and he’s likely to be starting in goal for us tomorrow night.
“I’m looking forward to him playing as he’s a top keeper with great ability and he’s a top professional.
“Of course he’s frustrated as he wants to be playing regularly between the sticks, and I feel for him as Sol has come in and been exceptional, but we have two fantastic goalkeepers here and they’re both my number ones in my eyes.
“I think it’s disrespectful to refer to one or the other as a one or two – I feel we have two strong keepers who are capable of playing at the top level at any given time, and they’re both fighting to start games.
Scott on potential transfers out of the club…
“We’ve had no bids for any of our players, but we understand we are at an interesting stage of the season with the current transfer window closing shortly.
“I don’t want any of my players to go as I’m really pleased with what we’ve been able to bring in and I’m really happy with the squad I have, but this is football and you never know.
“Unfortunately I don’t have a crystal ball and with only a few days remaining of the window, you never know what can happen, but the players we have are settled and feeling part of what we are trying to achieve, and I feel we are building something good here.
“If the right bid comes in we’d have to assess it, but we’ll do all we can to keep players here so we can push forward with a consistent group that keeps improving.”