Swindon Town take a brief break from League Two action this evening as they welcome Plymouth Argyle to The County Ground as their Papa John’s Trophy campaign resumes.
After an opening group game defeat to Crystal Palace Under-21s, Town know three points will put them straight back into the hunt to progress into the latter stages of the competition.
Here’s what First-Team Head Coach, Scott Lindsey, had to say ahead of this evening’s tie in his pre-match press conference.
Scott on the current injury situation…
“At the moment it’s just Angus we are assessing, as he went off in the Doncaster game with a strange feeling in his knee, on which he will have a scan shortly.
“He is feeling better with it but we need to have a closer look to ensure it’s nothing too serious.
“He felt some strange sensations in and around the knee when running and on impact which felt uncomfortable and he couldn’t carry on, but we will ensure we take all the right precautions to ensure he’s okay and take the right course of action once we know more.
“Marcel has done some lighter training since he went off against Sutton but won’t feature against Plymouth. He’ll return to full contact training in the latter part of the week and we’ll go from there.
“We’re hoping Rushian Hepburn-Murphy will feature in the game this evening, which will be great for him as he’s been out for some time.
“He’s looked really sharp in training recently and hopefully if he does feature, he’ll be able to make a real impact. He’s quick, aggressive when running with the ball and is capable of stretching the opposition.
“He adds something very different to the squad which is a huge plus for us. He’s really keen to get back involved in competitive games as you’d expect, and been working really hard on his recovery and fitness, so I’m really looking forward to seeing his qualities on the pitch.”
The importance of finding that continuity after two straight league wins…
“For me this game is more about picking a team that I think needs to play with regards to lads who haven’t featured much or are coming back to full fitness, and giving those that have played a lot this season some important rest.
“I believe whatever side we put out, whether it’s players who haven’t played too much, younger players coming through our ranks or those coming back form injury, we are strong enough to compete with anyone.
“The line-up I have in mind for the game is a really strong one and we’re looking to win the game.
“We’ll be including some of the young lads like we did against Palace as it’s great experience for them, but we will also have some experienced heads in there too.”
The importance of this competition…
“I think the Papa John’s is really useful for many reasons.
“We have a big squad here now and we have players that need to be playing football, especially with the games coming thick and fast for us.
“As I’ve mentioned, the competition provides us with a chance to give some of the lads that haven’t featured as much as others a chance to grab some valuable minutes on the pitch, and I don’t feel I’m weakening my side by including these or any of our youth players.
“I think whatever side we put out there we’d compete with any side in League Two.”
What to expect from Plymouth…
“Of course it’s really difficult to assess what sort of side they are going to put out for the game.
“They’re flying high in League One at the moment and we’ve done a lot of work on them as you would expect. We understand how they play and the threats they pose, but it’s always hard to determine how strong they’ll go with their team selection and which players with start.
“We’ve looked at them and whoever they pick, I don’t think they’ll edge too far away from their normal system. They’re a good footballing side and will be tough to break down, but we’ll be ready for the challenge.”
The likelihood of Luke of Jephcott playing against his parent club…
“Luke won’t be available for the game as we have an agreement in place with Plymouth, so he’ll sit this one out.”
Scott on the mood in the camp after the Doncaster win…
“The place is buzzing at the moment and the players are in good spirits, as you’d expect after two good results and performances.
“Everyone connected with the club has been in a great mood and training this week has been fantastic. It’s important we enjoy these moments but also quickly turn our attentions to the next game.
“Winning breeds confidence and gives everyone a lift, but I honestly believe even when we were drawing a fair few games, there was still that belief and desire among the players and staff that we’d eventually turn them into wins.”
The challenge of facing higher league opposition…
“For us it’s just another game. We’ll respect them and like I’ve said, whatever side I put out I’m confident of us winning.
“I’m looking forward to seeing some of the players that haven’t featured as much this season and it’s a game that will prove invaluable for them.
“We respect the opposition and the competition, and we’re really looking forward to the game.”
Scott on whether the Papa John’s Trophy is a chance to try different things tactically…
“We’d never use a competitive game to try different things from a tactical perspective.
“We have a set way of playing, a strong philosophy and we won’t stray away from that as we believe it’s the right way to play.
“We work extremely hard on playing this way in training and ensure every player knows their role within the team.
“Of course it’s an opportunity to make some changes to the personnel, but our style of play and focus remains the same.”
The importance of progressing out of the group…
“It’s really important for us to get out of the group.
“It goes without saying we want to win every game we play. We came in for a bit of stick around the team selection for the Palace game, but I believe whichever team we put out they are capable of winning any game.
“Against Palace I felt we played well. Of course we lost 2-0 and shipped two late goals, but we played some really good stuff and I thought our younger players did really well.
“We want to win every game we play and progress to the latter stages – that goes without saying.”
Replacing the absent Jonny Williams…
“Jonny is a superb player so we can’t replace him like for like.
“He’s arguably been one of our best players in the last three or four games and of course you’re going to miss someone with that quality, spark and energy, but whoever comes in to replace him over the next week or so I know will do a decent job.
“As I’ve said we have great strength and depth in the squad which is important, so I don’t have any concerns there.”