NATHAN Thompson is confident that having to train on half a 3G pitch at Lydiard Academy has not hampered Swindon Town’s preparations for their trip to Walsall.
With the club’s training facility at Liddington unusable after the recent inclement weather, Town were grateful to the local school for granting them the use of their state-of-the-art playing surface on Monday.
However, Swindon’s professional players had to make do with half a pitch, with pupils being put through their paces at the other end at the same time.
It’s hardly an ideal build-up, given Town face a Walsall side that currently sit sixth in League One, but Thompson is unconcerned.
“If we’d gone up to Liddington the pitches are all churned up and our style of play doesn’t suit that,” he said. “It’s been good to get another surface, a nice feel of the ball the day before a game and we’ll have the same sort of mentality going into the game as we would have done if we’d trained at Liddington.
“I’m sure they enjoyed it. It was good to get amongst it and show the kids what we do in training sessions as well.”
Swindon will go to the Banks’s Stadium this evening looking to avenge their 3-1 home defeat to the Saddlers in October and Thompson accepts that the Robins’ woeful away form - Town have taken just two points out of the last 18 available on their travels - is making the pursuit of a play-off place that little bit harder.
“There’s a little bit of pressure but the pressure comes from ourselves, though.
“It’s an important game for us,” he said. “Teams up there have dropped points when you’d expect them to get three points so it’s a huge game for us.
“We prepare in exactly the same we do for the home games.
“Maybe the confidence has been knocked a little bit from the away performances but we prepare in the same way as we would if we were playing Walsall at home. I think we’ll go with a little more grit and determination to grind out a result, which is needed.”