When Webster’s dictionary releases its updated version this year, they’ll need to add a picture of Charlie Austin’s header from Saturday next to the word perfection, as the former Premier League striker made an instant impact in his second debut for the club.
This was the story everyone wanted to see, the boy who left Swindon to enjoy a successful career, come back a man and makes the perfect start, as our new number eleven found the back of the net after another pinpoint cross from Remeao Hutton.
After going down to 10 men in the 34th minute, the visitors held on valiantly until just after the hour mark as Marcel Lavinier scored his second goal in the past three games with a sweetly struck effort off the post in front of a jubilant Town End.
Jonny Williams made it three after Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s shot was parried by the keeper into the Welshman’s path, Ronan Darcy made it four with his first touch of the game from the bench, Saidou Khan completed the rout, as he fired his shot into the roof of the net from close range.
I don’t want to disrespect Scott Lindsey, as we did see some good displays from his side, but without him at the helm, it was night and day levels of difference from the last home game on Boxing Day.
Throughout the entire afternoon, Town played with much more confidence on the ball, and moved it around quicker, with their passing game far more positive.
The man who scored the final goal of the afternoon, played a huge role in such an impressive display, as he dictated play and bossed the midfield.
Yesterday Town announced the departure of Louis Reed, who signed for promotion rivals Mansfield Town for an undisclosed fee, which isn’t how I saw his time at Swindon coming to an end at the start of the season.
With him being so vital to our success last season, one of the reasons for his departure is the form of Saidou Khan.
The former Chesterfield midfielder took advantage of his time in the team this season, which saw Reed warming the bench for large parts of the campaign.
Ideally, we wouldn’t have sold such a talented player to a side battling it out with us for promotion, but it became clear Reed wouldn’t be signing a new deal, it was sensible to pick up a transfer fee, instead of letting him leave for free at the end of the season.
Hopefully, we’ll see a new midfielder before the transfer window shuts, with Ben Gladwin and Elis Iandolo prone to picking up injuries, fresh faces will be needed.
Another player who stood out from the rest on Saturday was Rushian Hepburn-Murphy, who despite not being on the scoresheet, enjoyed a superb afternoon, his link-up play with Charlie Austin should get Town fans excited for what’s ahead, as I could see a partnership easily develop between the strikers.
This result and performance show what a talented squad the new Head Coach has at his disposal when he hopefully takes charge this week.
Rumours surfaced last night that Paul Caddis was in the frame for the job after attending a couple of interviews for the position.
Caddis enjoys a hugely positive reputation at the club and is loved by many at the County Ground, but I don’t feel the job in its current form should be handed to someone with zero experience in management.
We have a big chance of promotion this season, and entrusting such a huge job to a rookie seems like the wrong call. If he is appointed as the new Head Coach, he’d enjoy the vast majority of Town fans’ support including myself, but it would be a big gamble by the club, and one they couldn’t afford to backfire.