DAN THE FAN: Talking us down is leaving fans with mixed messages

First published in Sport

AFTER Town’s second defeat in a week, manager Paolo Di Canio again emphasised he didn’t expect his side to be challenging for promotion this season.

Just a few weeks ago I mentioned his comments could be his way of deflecting any pressure away from his squad about the idea of a second straight promotion.

But now, in every post-match interview, he plays down any idea of success this season.

I understand he had a tough situation to deal with when Town were under a transfer embargo and he had to resort to playing youth team players, but that situation is now being dealt with.

He’s signed a couple of new faces on loan, key players are returning from long term injuries, and he has a very talented squad to work with at League One level.

One of the main reasons Town fans fell in love with the Italian manager last season was his confidence.

His touchline antics are entertaining, his style of football great to watch, but we loved his attitude towards himself and his team.

After being an average side for many years, the controversial manager has been a breath of fresh air at the club.

He has made fans even more proud to support Swindon and his comments last season in post-match interviews were always something to look forward to.

You would never hear the same old clichés – telling the press that referees could ban him every game and his side would still win the league is a personal favourite.

Ask yourself Town fans, did you ever previously just wait in your seat after the full-time whistle?

Of course not, but now at the County Ground we get the sight of people hanging around at full time because they want to see what Di Canio will do when he comes onto the pitch.

Whether it’s just showing the fans his appreciation with a clap, raising his arms in celebration, or even taunting away fans, I love it.

He’s unique and I’m relived he decided to start his managerial career at Town. We still see that wonderful side of his character at the end of games, but telling fans he expects a mid-table finish is confusing after talk of promotion at the start of the campaign.

Hopefully, he still thinks we can achieve promotion, but let’s hope that in the next couple of weeks we get back to hearing Di Canio aiming high and not at just above the League One relegation zone.

Daily Swindon Town updates at gazetteandherald.co.uk/sport

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