doc

PAOLO Di Canio stressed that Bartosz Bialkowski was the “best player on the pitch” during the clash at Meadow Lane, but he refused to acknowledge that the Notts County keeper was entirely responsible for Swindon Town’s 1-0 defeat.

Bialkowski made a string of fine saves to keep a clean sheet in the pouring rain in Nottingham, but Swindon boss Di Canio was as quick to find fault in his own players as much as he was to praise the opposition stopper.

The Italian suggested that a combination of his strikers’ errors in front of goal and the brilliance of the Pole was to blame for the Robins failing to pick up any League One points for the second game in a row.

“It’s obvious that the goalkeeper is a part of the squad and he made three saves, the one with his instincts close to the goalline from Darren Ward was amazing because he put his arms up like Schmeichel used to for Man United,” he said.

“This was the top one. He was crucial for them; I think he was the best player on the field.

“But at the end of the day we didn’t have enough.

“This is why the people have to understand not to dream and think they have to go out and work hard with pride. The players give their best but this is the quality we’ve got. Sometimes we are going to win 4-1. If we went 1-0 up this game would finish 4-0 or 5-0.

“After 10 minutes it was clear that only Swindon should win this game but once again the final quality, one mistake, costs points. At this level the opponents have pedigree and quality, something that unfortunately we don’t have at the front yet.

“Andy Williams for 70 yards is better than Darren Bent; the problem is the last 10 yards which is the main part of a striker. He is a good guy, a good athlete and we will work with him. Sometimes he’s going to drive us crazy but sometimes he will make us very happy.

“This is the reason we can’t stay at the top – If you want to stay at the top you have to have people affecting the game 80 per cent of the time not 40 or 30. It’s not only Andy – (Matt) Ritchie, James (Collins) is a kid.”