The season of goodwill may be in full flow, especially in the Swindon Town defence, but in the third 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…
A cup run, even a decent cup fixture, can do so much for a club. To give credit where it’s due, this season’s FA Cup First Round Replay versus Eastleigh did represent our best FA Cup campaign in five years, but I don’t imagine that the heroic efforts of the lads in the defeat to non-league opposition were enough to get the juices flowing.
Whereas the dismal status of the Checkatrade Trophy is not the club’s fault, that doesn’t justify treating games with total indifference. It’s hard to dispute that Luton’s reserves, not to mention their manager, were far more interested in Tuesday’s game than the majority of their Swindon equivalents.
Looking back, there are two features of the game that irk me most.
Giving Jake Evans, a teenage midfielder, his full debut totally out of position at right back was really unfair and, sadly, in keeping with the mess that we make of developing our own players.
Also, it’s impossible to conclude that a very impressive substitute appearance from Ellis Iandolo, capped with a superb goal, justified him being dropped from the 18 for Saturday. Does the club consider a strong cup performance to be irrelevant, even counterproductive? Still, at least we kept the key men fit and ready for Sheffield United, just as the Eastleigh defeat kept everyone fresh for the trip to Rochdale…
Apparent indifference towards cups is unacceptable to most fans, but I find it especially baffling under Lee Power’s ownership. Surely a cup run represents an ideal way to fill the stands, build some momentum and, frankly, make money?
Now, with nearly five months of the season still to play, the only real question has to be whether we can survive in League One?
Follow Adam Tanner on Twitter @AdamTanner87