11 Key Moments of 2011: No.7 – Leyton Orient and the end for Danny Wilson
No.7 – Leyton Orient and the end for Danny Wilson
A 3-0 defeat at Leyton Orient in early February with sixteen left to play, 31 points in the bag and six off the bottom isn’t usually a sign relegation is inevitable, but it always was for me.
The match was Swindon’s eighth game without a win, a run including six defeats. Wilson proclaimed the run to be the “unluckiest of his career” and admitted he could have been sacked a long time ago. The Board kept faith despite the results and supporter confidence dropping week by week.
Perhaps Wilson was as much as astonished as we all were at a decline in fortunes, nonetheless his post match interviews were seen by many as repeating the ‘same excuses’ and his tactical, transfer and squad selection failings were starting to really show, he started to really lose the popular support.
After the Orient defeat it wasn’t going to get any better as Town became a fixture in the relegation zone and went on to lose the next three matches against Colchester, Carlisle and Southampton.
For a while it seemed Wilson and Fitton would ride it out until May, so it did come as a partial surprise when Wilson tendered his resignation on 2nd March.
An obviously disappointed Wilson said “offering to resign would allow the board an opportunity to appoint a new manager while there are still sufficient games left to pull clear of the relegation zone” with the aim of “maintaining League One status had to be the priority for everyone”. Cue Paul Hart’s arrival…
As it later transpired, our end of season analysis showed Town were relegated after the Leyton Orient defeat. This was because our points won per game ratio never recovered above the 48 needed to beat Walsall who finished 20th. So statistically at least, we were relegated while Wilson was in charge.