SWINDON TOWN: Ward urges teammates to raise their game

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Swindon Town's Darren Ward Swindon Town's Darren Ward

DEFENDER Darren Ward wants the Swindon Town squad to raise their standards as they battle to live up to increased expectations in their challenge for promotion.

Town are unbeaten in their last 10 games which has seen them rise to third in the League One table, and three points in tomorrow’s home clash with rock-bottom Hartlepool could see the Robins go top of the pile for the first time this season.

The eyes of the football world are now on the County Ground due to the speculation regarding the future of manager Paolo Di Canio, the potential takeover of the club, and their lofty league position, but Ward wants to ensure the players remain focused on the job in hand.

“Now we have found ourselves up the league a lot of teams are looking at us and thinking we are doing quite well, so there will be more focus on us,” he said.

“It is one of those where the players need to raise their game, raise their standards and keep it going until the end of the season.

“I have not read a thing, and I don’t really read newspapers, but if I feel the need to I will.

“I have my own views about many things, but until the manager tells us anything or the owners, I have to get on with my job and so do all the players.

“We have to focus, it’s our job to focus, and not get carried away by the opinions of people who think you are a top team, and start believing other people’s thoughts than concentrating on your own game.”

Swindon return to the familiar surroundings of the County Ground tomorrow after away games on difficult pitches at Leyton Orient, Crawley and Colchester, and Ward wants to treat the home crowd to another tight defensive display.

“It has been a test, not just mentality but physically on our legs because we have had some very difficult pitches to play on,” he said.

“It has been the same for both sides on the day, but three on the spin for us is quite hard.

“We need to look forward to Saturday now, and we just have to keep going.

“It gives you a base if you don’t concede goals in games, and a lot of hard work has gone into it, we don’t just turn up.

“We are out there training very hard and we are put under a lot of pressure to keep doing that, which is our job which we have to do.

“We have to keep going and concentrate, and look for a good result.”

The events of the last two weeks are nothing new for Ward, and the veteran has been doing his best to help the younger members of the squad keep their minds on the job.

“There has been a few times when takeovers have happened, but it is an experience you can’t effect,” he said.

“We as players don’t make decisions, and we have to realise that quickly to make it become easier.

“It’s important (to help younger players) and we have been trying to control a number of things to focus on the pitch and concentrate on the matchday, and not get drawn into anything.

“We can’t effect anything unless the players take over the club, and I can’t see that happening.”

Comments (12)

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6:43am Fri 8 Feb 13

stfclondon says...

I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.
I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league. stfclondon

6:56am Fri 8 Feb 13

SAPFanSTFC says...

stfclondon wrote:
I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.
Well done for making all three of the games - great stuff!...I only saw Crawley on TV but saw the Colchester debacle and like you I'm so proud to have our ground staff!
.
The Swindon pitch is a credit to them and is something that makes me smile whenever I go up into the seats...great to see!
[quote][p][bold]stfclondon[/bold] wrote: I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.[/p][/quote]Well done for making all three of the games - great stuff!...I only saw Crawley on TV but saw the Colchester debacle and like you I'm so proud to have our ground staff! . The Swindon pitch is a credit to them and is something that makes me smile whenever I go up into the seats...great to see! SAPFanSTFC

8:02am Fri 8 Feb 13

ShearerShearer says...

SAPFanSTFC wrote:
stfclondon wrote: I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.
Well done for making all three of the games - great stuff!...I only saw Crawley on TV but saw the Colchester debacle and like you I'm so proud to have our ground staff! . The Swindon pitch is a credit to them and is something that makes me smile whenever I go up into the seats...great to see!
Agree with all of this, a pat on the back to Marcus and the regulars (not the hangers on who turn up once a season for a big game)
[quote][p][bold]SAPFanSTFC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stfclondon[/bold] wrote: I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.[/p][/quote]Well done for making all three of the games - great stuff!...I only saw Crawley on TV but saw the Colchester debacle and like you I'm so proud to have our ground staff! . The Swindon pitch is a credit to them and is something that makes me smile whenever I go up into the seats...great to see![/p][/quote]Agree with all of this, a pat on the back to Marcus and the regulars (not the hangers on who turn up once a season for a big game) ShearerShearer

8:29am Fri 8 Feb 13

stfclondon says...

SAPFanSTFC wrote:
stfclondon wrote: I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.
Well done for making all three of the games - great stuff!...I only saw Crawley on TV but saw the Colchester debacle and like you I'm so proud to have our ground staff! . The Swindon pitch is a credit to them and is something that makes me smile whenever I go up into the seats...great to see!
Cheers SAPFanSTFC, but they were three easy journeys for me. A lot of Town fans will have travelled from further afield. Colchester is quite a trek from Swindon, especially on a cold and wet Tuesday night.
[quote][p][bold]SAPFanSTFC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stfclondon[/bold] wrote: I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.[/p][/quote]Well done for making all three of the games - great stuff!...I only saw Crawley on TV but saw the Colchester debacle and like you I'm so proud to have our ground staff! . The Swindon pitch is a credit to them and is something that makes me smile whenever I go up into the seats...great to see![/p][/quote]Cheers SAPFanSTFC, but they were three easy journeys for me. A lot of Town fans will have travelled from further afield. Colchester is quite a trek from Swindon, especially on a cold and wet Tuesday night. stfclondon

8:43am Fri 8 Feb 13

Sparticus says...

It's an even bigger trek from west of the Cotswolds but I saw lots of familiar faces at all three of the games. It's not always easy (or cheap) but, if you can do it (and not everybody can) you have to, don't you? I've only just thawed out after Tuesday night. #frozenutsoff :D
It's an even bigger trek from west of the Cotswolds but I saw lots of familiar faces at all three of the games. It's not always easy (or cheap) but, if you can do it (and not everybody can) you have to, don't you? I've only just thawed out after Tuesday night. #frozenutsoff :D Sparticus

9:43am Fri 8 Feb 13

FORZASTFC says...

stfclondon wrote:
I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.
Well said!
Cannot praise our ground staff highly enough, as our pitch looks like a bowling green compared to those "rice fields" our boys were trying to play football on?
Proud STFC fan, of the manager, players, ground staff etc etc.....
I LOVE MY CLUB
[quote][p][bold]stfclondon[/bold] wrote: I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.[/p][/quote]Well said! Cannot praise our ground staff highly enough, as our pitch looks like a bowling green compared to those "rice fields" our boys were trying to play football on? Proud STFC fan, of the manager, players, ground staff etc etc..... I LOVE MY CLUB FORZASTFC

9:48am Fri 8 Feb 13

hertz says...

Well done Darren you are right to add caution it is not be a pushover despite the league positions , they put one over Shef United at their dirt patch in similar position , I suppose its not only good for our players to play on a decent pitch but also a pleasure for the opposition to see what they can do on a decent surface .But waht a perfect opportunity to show the stay aways why they should tryt to attend and in front of the world media too . COYR
Well done Darren you are right to add caution it is not be a pushover despite the league positions , they put one over Shef United at their dirt patch in similar position , I suppose its not only good for our players to play on a decent pitch but also a pleasure for the opposition to see what they can do on a decent surface .But waht a perfect opportunity to show the stay aways why they should tryt to attend and in front of the world media too . COYR hertz

10:43am Fri 8 Feb 13

SAPFanSTFC says...

stfclondon wrote:
SAPFanSTFC wrote:
stfclondon wrote: I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.
Well done for making all three of the games - great stuff!...I only saw Crawley on TV but saw the Colchester debacle and like you I'm so proud to have our ground staff! . The Swindon pitch is a credit to them and is something that makes me smile whenever I go up into the seats...great to see!
Cheers SAPFanSTFC, but they were three easy journeys for me. A lot of Town fans will have travelled from further afield. Colchester is quite a trek from Swindon, especially on a cold and wet Tuesday night.
Hats off though - you still had to make them and freeze your bits off! :-)
[quote][p][bold]stfclondon[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SAPFanSTFC[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]stfclondon[/bold] wrote: I went to the last three away games and the pitches were just awful, so it will be great for our players to get back to the County Ground and play on a decent surface again. Marcus Cassidy does an absolutely brilliant job maintaining the pitch, which must be among the best in the division, if not the entire football league.[/p][/quote]Well done for making all three of the games - great stuff!...I only saw Crawley on TV but saw the Colchester debacle and like you I'm so proud to have our ground staff! . The Swindon pitch is a credit to them and is something that makes me smile whenever I go up into the seats...great to see![/p][/quote]Cheers SAPFanSTFC, but they were three easy journeys for me. A lot of Town fans will have travelled from further afield. Colchester is quite a trek from Swindon, especially on a cold and wet Tuesday night.[/p][/quote]Hats off though - you still had to make them and freeze your bits off! :-) SAPFanSTFC

10:47am Fri 8 Feb 13

SAPFanSTFC says...

Sparticus wrote:
It's an even bigger trek from west of the Cotswolds but I saw lots of familiar faces at all three of the games. It's not always easy (or cheap) but, if you can do it (and not everybody can) you have to, don't you? I've only just thawed out after Tuesday night. #frozenutsoff :D
Blimey Sparticus!!...great stuff! I wish I could have done more of them but have to agree about the temperature....I'm not one for coats or jumpers but had to put my jumper on after 30mins as I was about to freeze to the seat!
...
Horrible ground, horrible pitch, awful location, no atmosphere and awful wind channels in each corner of the ground.
...
.....but boy did we leave there smiling!!
[quote][p][bold]Sparticus[/bold] wrote: It's an even bigger trek from west of the Cotswolds but I saw lots of familiar faces at all three of the games. It's not always easy (or cheap) but, if you can do it (and not everybody can) you have to, don't you? I've only just thawed out after Tuesday night. #frozenutsoff :D[/p][/quote]Blimey Sparticus!!...great stuff! I wish I could have done more of them but have to agree about the temperature....I'm not one for coats or jumpers but had to put my jumper on after 30mins as I was about to freeze to the seat! ... Horrible ground, horrible pitch, awful location, no atmosphere and awful wind channels in each corner of the ground. ... .....but boy did we leave there smiling!! SAPFanSTFC

12:10pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Robinonfire says...

Time to step up.....only way is up.

Come on you REDS
Time to step up.....only way is up. Come on you REDS Robinonfire

4:59pm Fri 8 Feb 13

midland red says...

Very good points made by Darren Ward. Sometimes it is easy to overlook the tremendous springboard that the defence and Fodders gives the team - meanest in the league and I think they have been been brilliant all season!
Keep it up and we should have another victory tomorrow!
Very good points made by Darren Ward. Sometimes it is easy to overlook the tremendous springboard that the defence and Fodders gives the team - meanest in the league and I think they have been been brilliant all season! Keep it up and we should have another victory tomorrow! midland red

5:54pm Fri 8 Feb 13

Steve. Brentford says...

Good sound words from Darren, i like this man.No moaning, no groaning,none of that "poor us,we are hard done by" a good professional attitude, i`m pleased to have him at Swindon.
Good sound words from Darren, i like this man.No moaning, no groaning,none of that "poor us,we are hard done by" a good professional attitude, i`m pleased to have him at Swindon. Steve. Brentford

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