Blowing Hot and Cold

The season of goodwill may be in full flow, especially in the Swindon Town defence, but in the first of a series of five posts this week, Adam Tanner examines why the spirit around The County Ground is more befitting of the January blues…

Swindon Town have now conceded four goals in three of the last four away league games. To put that into perspective, over the course of the entire league season, our last two teams to be relegated have conceded four or more in a single game twice (in 2010/11) and once (in 2005/6).

Conceding on such a scale should represent a shameful nadir, the lowest point of a tough season; not a fortnightly occurrence.

And it hasn’t been as straightforward as conceding four in a game. Specifically:

  • At Scunthorpe, we conceded 4 in 30 minutes.
  • At Rochdale, we conceded 4 in 37 minutes.
  • At Sheffield United, we conceded 4 in 25 minutes.

This would at least be partly justifiable if our team was hopeless, and kept collapsing through sheer incompetence. But it really isn’t, and these dreadful defeats have been intertwined with some impressive results.

In total contrast to the figures above, Swindon have kept a clean sheet whilst winning three of the last four home league games. And we haven’t been brushing aside useless opponents; we’ve managed this against three top half teams, one of which, Rochdale, fired goals past us for fun just three weeks later.

It’s hard to conclude that the frequent collapses are down to anything other than extreme mental weakness. Has a team ever been more severely damaged by conceding a goal?

Perhaps the most striking stat is that we haven’t won a league game in which we have conceded a goal, any goal at any stage, since February 2016 – versus Peterborough United.

Follow Adam Tanner on Twitter @AdamTanner87

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