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Di Canio hails 'amazing performance'
SWINDON boss Paolo Di Canio was proud of his players’ ‘amazing performance’ despite their heartbreaking 3-2 defeat at the hands of Aston Villa in the Capital One Cup last night.
Substitute Miles Storey dragged Town back from 2-0 down in dramatic fashion late on with two goals in three minutes, only for Belgian Christian Benteke to grab a 90th minute winner to deny Swindon their fourth higher-division scalp of the campaign.
Despite the defeat Di Canio was full of praise for the way his players coped with the Premier League side, and believes it stands them in good stead for the future.
“It is disappointing but what they have done made me proud as a manger because the second half was a spectacular game, and they played with discipline and quality without worries,” he said.
“We created eight or 10 clear chances, but they are two leagues above us and have the quality, the delivery from Ireland and then Benteke scored in the six yard box.
“But I told them it is important we keep going, and after the Stevenage game this is an amazing performance and I am very very happy.
“We dominated completely and they went out of half way five or six times, but we were 45 minutes in their half playing quality football with discipline, so I am very happy.
“Obviously it leaves a bad taste because one minute earlier we should have scored with Andy Williams, because if we score it would have been amazing.
“But I was very happy to see my players not go blurry after going 2-0 down, and I think very positive for the future.”
Di Canio was impressed with the impact teenager Storey made after coming on, but is keen to keep the youngster’s feet firmly on the ground.
“He has to improve a lot because he didn’t even know the pace of football, but he is a good prospect.
“He is very intelligent and worked hard in pre-season, and he is now a different prospect.
“He is without long hair now and he is a professional and a very educated guy, but he has to work hard because he is at the base of his improvement.
“He will improve and understand more, but obviously the people do not now have to think he is Rooney.
“Maybe he will play half an hour or 20 minutes in League One.
“He is not ready for the top level but one day probably, probably, but he must work very hard.”
Meanwhile, tonight is a big occasion for Swindon Town’s youth team players as they begin their FA Youth Cup campaign against Sholing at the County Ground.
“It is a showcase game for the young lads to play at the County Ground, and I know they are here every day and watch most of the first team games, for a lot of them this will be the first time they have played here,” manager Paul Bodin said. “I am sure they are eager to get on the pitch and show what they can do, and Sholing will be out to show how good they are too.”
Swindon Supermarine are also in action this evening in the final of the 2011/12 Wiltshire Premier Shield against Salisbury.
The game was carried over from last season due to fixture congestion, with the clash being switched to Supermarine’s Webbs Wood Stadium home.