Sometimes in our beautiful game, you have to hold your hands up and admit the opposition sat you down and taught you a lesson, and sadly that’s what we experienced in Stevenage.
Coming into the game on the back of four wins in our previous five games I was confident we could be the first side to earn something at Broadhall Way, but straight from kick-off, you could see how well-organised Steve Evans had his side, as the Stevenage boss taught our new gaffer a few lessons.
Don’t get me wrong, I wouldn’t want Steve Evans a million miles near Swindon Town, the way he and his assistant Paul Raynor act in games is at times embarrassing, and his style of play isn’t enjoyable to watch, but his 25 years of experience was obvious to see on Saturday.
The home side knew how we’d play and was more than happy for us to have the ball, Town enjoyed nearly 70% possession, but time and time again failed to break through a very well-drilled Stevenage side.
Having a Plan B at times like the second half on Saturday needs to be worked on, as we had zero answers in trying to get back into the game after the home side doubled their lead.
Sometimes you have to change your style of play or even principles for a short time if it means your side has a slight chance of getting back in the game.
But with Scott Lindsley still very fresh in the role of a Head Coach experiencing defeats like Saturday can only help him and his side in the future.
One decision that surprised me at 2:00 pm was leaving Louis Reed out the side, the Head Coach explained in his post-match interview that the talented midfielder was benched to give Saidou Khan game time after impressing from the bench.
But it was clear from the start we missed the link-up play between the back line and midfield that Reed offers, if Khan was meant to play the same role, he didn’t make himself available enough to his defenders and seemed more interested in carrying it forwards than giving the ball to Ronan Darcy or Gladwin.
It’s obvious Khan is a talented player, but from what I’ve seen, he doesn’t suit the defensive midfielder role, I see him playing Gladwin’s position, or you push Darcy forwards to play behind the striker and play Khan alongside Gladwin.
Either way, Reed needs to come back into the side this weekend when Town welcomes Colchester United to the County Ground.
Along with Reed back in the first eleven, I would like Jacob Wakeling back in the middle of the front three, and bench Luke Jephcott, with the Plymouth striker still building up his fitness.
He has enjoyed a good start to his time with Town, but rotating the front three in games would be more beneficial to Wakeling’s development, as on Saturday the 21-year-old was nowhere near involved enough to make an impression on the game.
This weekend I’d like to see Tyrese Shade start on the left, Wakeling in the middle with Jonny Williams on the right, and use Jephcott from the bench.
This combination should do the trick against a newly resurgent Colchester United side, who picked up an important win over Harrogate Town, Matt Bloomfield’s first three points as the new Head Coach.
But I’m confident Town can get back on track after the slight setback, and find themselves in the top seven by full-time next Saturday.