Returning players are a boost for boss Brown
PHIL Brown was in upbeat mood ahead of his Swindon Town side’s trip to Exeter City this afternoon with the treatment room at the club steadily emptying.
Michael Doughty, who has not been seen in action since the Checkatrade Trophy victory over Newport County, and Sid Nelson, who missed last Saturday’s fixture against Northampton, are both back in training.
This adds to the selection headache that Brown already had after Tuesday’s fine performance against Plymouth, who were beaten 3-0 by the Robins in the Trophy.
Brown told his pre-match press conference: “Positive news – both of them have trained. I wouldn’t have said fully, looking at it, but it was very positive that they were throwing themselves at it, into the ring for the weekend. I’ve got to be careful – from the scan there is a little muscle tear with regards to Sid.
“Where Michael Doughty is concerned – he’s missed a big chunk of training and he got through the session, what I would class, as looking after himself. Not quite 100 per cent, but he got through it.
“Hopefully, they’ll both come through unscathed, and then I’ve got a decision to make. It’s massively positive. The only person not doing anything on the training ground was Chris Robertson.
“You witnessed it on Tuesday night – I was pleasantly surprised by what I was seeing, a lad (Kaiyne Woolery) who had probably been running with a limp over the last couple of weeks. The acceleration is spontaneous and I was delighted with 35 minutes, a goal and being a threat. Kaiyne is in the squad too.”
Regarding today’s team, Brown still has not made his mind up in some positions.
“I had a conversation with a couple of supporters that came to the game on Tuesday and that was nice, to talk to supporters that were actually there and watched the game, and they’d seen the local press about the headaches that I’ve got and asked me about what I thought.
“I normally know the team on a Thursday and work on it on a Thursday and Friday – I’ve normally got the XI. I’ve got eight, probably – at this moment in time – out of the XI, so still got two or three big decisions to make.”
Brown is aware of Exeter’s Jayden Stockley, who is the top scorer in all four divisions this calendar year, and does not want a repeat of last year’s fixture – a 3-1 reverse for Swindon at St James Park.
“They’ve got a very experienced team and that is led admirably by the lad Stockley up top, who bullied us last year and that was one of the ten games I was involved in. That won’t be happening. I’ll be going there with a serious physical threat – if there’s any bullying going on it needs to be coming from our side.”
■ Usain Bolt said scoring for the Central Coast Mariners was “a weight off his shoulders” as the world’s fastest man struck a secondhalf brace in a 4-0 win.
The 32-year-old, on an indefinite trial with the A-League club, made his first start in a friendly against Macarthur South West United.
And the Jamaican did no harm to his dreams of becoming a professional footballer with two goals.
Speaking after the game, he said: “It was brilliant. It takes the weight off your shoulders, it relaxes you.”
Swindon Town boss Phil Brown