There have been plenty of comings and goings at Swindon Town over the course of the 2013 summer transfer window, but do you think that Town are actually in a stronger position to compete for promotion? Ron Smith asks.
To be honest my expectations for 2013/14 dramatically reduced many months ago, about the time Andrew Black withdrew his funds and Paolo walked away.The takeover and initial haphazard approach of Jed McCrory’s board served to compound those early fears. Sustainability and reducing budgets is fine, but what sort of impact would this have on results. If we needed a budget of £4m plus for the past few years and couldn’t get into the Championship, then how can cuts and promotion actually come in tandem?
Only a few weeks ago, podcast listeners will know, I expressed comfort with a low mid-table finish and building for the future; others even concluded a 20th place finish and avoiding relegation on the final day could constitute success. However, so much has changed the space of a week.
Performances against Gillingham (to some extent), QPR and then Crewe proved an effective style of football was working earlier in the season than I would’ve expected. The players have, match-on-match, noticeably improved, performing their roles with increased awareness of their teammates and how they are expected to work within Mark Cooper’s 4-3-3* / 4-2-3-1* / 4-5-1* [delete as appropriate].
Then there was the permanent signing of Massimo Luongo on Sunday. When the news broke on Saturday at the end of half time on Twitter I nearly missed the third goal. I realise ‘Mass’ isn’t a net gain as he was due to stay with Town until May, yet his capture is a real sign of intent. £400,000 is a lot of money, but what a bargain! Add to Massimo the signing of Nile Ranger, Nicky Ajose and Dany N’Guessan then Town have now attacking options yielding a threat unlike what we’ve seen recently with the dull duo of Andy Williams and James Collins. I haven’t even mentoned the performances of Yaser Kasim…amazing.
Am I now getting carried away? Perhaps. We’ve only set foot into September and our potential is being revised upwards. However, that doesn’t mean to say expectations are being similarly raised, yet.
For our podcast recording on Sunday I’m keen to sense your views on whether Swindon are actually now stronger to push for promotion to the Championship in 2013/14 compared to previous seasons.
Have your expectations risen over recent weeks and have any of the transfer window signings or performances changed your views on our chances of success, even your opinion on Mark Cooper?
Tell us what you think in the comment box below. The best responses will be discussed on our podcast, available to download on Sunday evening.