Swindon Town First-Team Head Coach, Scott Lindsey, says he’s proud of all his players after they battled their way to their first league point of the season with a gritty second half display against Salford City with ten men.
Harry McKirdy was shown a controversial second yellow just two minutes before the interval, but Town rallied and put in an organised, energetic and professional performance to pick up a draw in a game they could even have won despite their numerical disadvantage.
Speaking to the media after today’s game, Lindsey says his players were fantastic and praised the work ethic of his charges in challenging circumstances.
“I’m extremely proud of my players today and I thought they were absolutely outstanding.
“They worked incredibly hard with ten men and created chances, and we could even have gone on to win the game, so I’ve got nothing but praise for all of them.
“We’ve come up against a very difficult side today, which we knew we would. It was a very tricky first half as Salford play a complex formation, often switching from a 3-4-1-2 to a 4-4-2 diamond.
“They overload the middle and they are hard to breakdown, so we had to ensure we adjusted how we played to counteract this. Of course Harry’s dismissal made it even tougher for us, but I felt we got our tactics spot on in the second period and we had some good chances to win the game.”
The recently-appointed First-Team Head Coach also believes today’s performance will bring his players closer together moving forward and their hard work around fitness during pre-season played a key role in their performance.
“I thought my players showed real grit and every one of them put a shift in. Working hard together, blocking lines, chasing balls and dropping back into holes to defend – they did it tirelessly for 45-minutes and I’m delighted.
“Performances like this will really help us as the players continue to build relationships on the pitch.
“I really feel our focus on fitness during the off-season contributed massively today. The energy and endeavor from the players was superb, and today’s point can be put down to that.
Lindsey on Sol Brynn…
« He was outstanding today. I heard there were a few people gesturing towards him in the warm-up and there’s been a lot of negativity around him recently, but they’ve not seen what I’ve seen.
“Sol is a top keeper and will continue to get even better, and I hope people have noticed that today.
“I want fans to back these young players as negativity doesn’t help them. It wasn’t just Sol’s saves today – his distribution and catching crosses was spot on. He was class.”
Starts for Saidou Khan and Jacob Wakeling…
“Watching Salford in the build up to this game, you have to pick personnel that you think is better suited to playing certain opposition, and that’s why we went with Saidou and Jacob today.
“We saw Jacob as someone who could steal balls in their defensive areas, cause them issues and win the ball back for us to attack. He has great energy and did exactly what we asked of him.
“More centrally, we wanted to solidify the middle of the pitch with Saidou instead of Jonny. We felt we were a little open against Harrogate and Khan gave us a bit more in there today.
“We were then able to bring Jonny on with his experience and it worked well.”
Lindsey on the McKirdy sending off…
“It’s an unlucky one for Harry today.
“I’ve watched it back and he went shoulder to should with an opposition player, who has made a lot of it and the ref has decided to show him a second yellow.
“There wasn’t much in it for me, but the ref felt it was a decision he had to make.
“We know what Harry gives us and that’s passion and sometimes that can get him into trouble, but he’s been extremely hard done by today.”
Praise for Ronan Darcy and Remeao Hutton…
“I thought Ronan was fantastic today when he came on. He was great with the ball and without it.
“He used it well and was a threat. I know how good he is so today’s performance from him was no surprise to me. He’s an important part of how we want to play and a key figure for us moving forward.
“Hutton was good as well. He put balls into the box and worked hard. He’s an honest kid who got forward well but also did a great job defensively when we needed him.
“It was a team effort today though and that was key. All my players pulling together, digging deep for a positive result, so I’m really pleased.”