Plymouth Argyle prepare to face Swindon Town for the second time in a week on Saturday afternoon. Ahead of the game, we spoke to Swindon fan Richard from the Loathed Strangers Podcast to get a perspective on the game from the County Ground.
First of all, how did you get into supporting Swindon?
Although I’m a full blown Moonraker, I’m not a Swindonian so it was my dad who inflicted Swindon Town on me from an early age.
I’ve been lost to football as long as I can remember and was 7 years old when I went to my first Town game which I still think that is at least two years later than I would have liked.
Having spent a chunk of my childhood outside Wiltshire, my allegiance to Swindon Town always seemed to raise eyebrows and looks of sympathy. Saying that, it wasn’t much different in West Wiltshire either.
My earliest memories of Swindon Town are unapologetically romantic. The smells of cigarette/cigar/pipe smoke, the unrelenting swearing in thick Wiltshire accents, the sound of seats clacking and the impressive yet intimidating sight of our glorious floodlights.
Since my first game I’ve watched Swindon play in the top four tiers which I guess is something. The majority of the cool stuff occurred when I was too young to appreciate it. Ain’t it always the way?
Are there any Swindon players in particular we should be looking out for this weekend?
It really depends. We’ve got a few players who can trouble any side in League Two on their day but to answer your question, Lloyd Isgrove.
He is our ‘flair’ player and had it not been for injuries he would be comfortably playing above this division but he has struggled to make the difference in recent weeks.
He’s tricky and an absolute nuisance when the elements are right which has been the case for most of his Town appearances.
What have you made of the Robins’ start to the season?
Plymouth visit Swindon at a very good time as the last few weeks have *not* gone to plan.
Up until mid-September we looked really good. Only one league loss courtesy of a horrific bit of officiating against Northampton (and it really was) and the players were oozing confidence.
Then the current struggle. Three losses in four L2 games.
The accusation made by a reasonable number of Town fans is that we’ve yet to beat a decent side. I maintain my belief that this is a little unfair but while we’re losing to teams like Newport and Bradford, who people expect to be ‘up there’, then it becomes harder to argue.
Town need a good result but the County Ground can be an anxious place when the going isn’t good, and the fact that there will be a lot of away fans mean that I don’t expect a change in Swindon’s fortunes this weekend.
Beyond happy to be proved wrong. We have the XI to maintain a promotion push, absolutely we do. I do wonder whether we the squad though. Town have been experiencing injuries during pretty much every game in recent weeks.
Do you think Argyle’s 3-0 win in the EFL Trophy in midweek will have any impact on this game?
No. Richie Wellens has made it quite clear that he thinks the EFL Trophy is nonsense and an unwanted distraction so it was no surprise to see Town get a walloping in midweek.
What sort of tactical style do you expect to set up with on Saturday?
4-4-2 if Wellens decides to go with Yates and Doyle up front. Otherwise he might go for a 4-2-3-1 formation. When Town are good, they are blistering on the counter-attack. Haven’t seen it much recently but it’s genuinely impressive when it’s working.
And are there any real weak links in the side you’re worried about?
Depth. As mentioned, we have the XI but we don’t have the strongest bench.
Both of our first choice CBs (Conroy and Baudry) have been injured recently. We finished a recent game with two players at centre-back playing out of position and it was noticeable despite plenty of effort.
What first comes to mind when you think of Plymouth Argyle?
I used to live in Plymouth so watched Argyle quite a bit. I think of players like Ebanks-Blake, Buzsaky, Fallon (swoon), Hayles, Norris, Timar, Halmosi, Connolly, Djordjic …and a story that ends with the immortal line ‘Don’t you know who I am? I’m Tony Capaldi!’
Which Argyle player, if any, would you like to sign?
Danny Mayor. Heaven knows, we’ve tried.
Also, Klaidi Lolos has a great name so I’d like to sign him too please. Thanks.
Do you have any predictions for League Two in general this year?
Swindon Town will avoid relegation. You heard it here first. NOTHING CAN GO WRONG NOW!
And finally, what is your prediction for the game itself?
Generally, I’m more of a positive fan but we are in a bit of a funk at the moment and in my experience the wrath of the football gods isn’t over just yet, so I’m going for Swindon Town 1-2 Plymouth Argyle (Argyle go 2-0 up and Town pull one back late on).