DARREN Ward feels criticism of Swindon Town’s deep defensive line is “an easy comment to make”.
Ward captained the Robins to a 2-1 home defeat to MK Dons on Saturday, as goals from Antony Kay and George Baldock turned the game on its head following Michael Smith’s 18th-minute opener for the hosts.
It was the third successive occasion that Swindon threw away a lead, giving some fans and pundits the arsenal to suggest Town are not pushing on for a second goal in games where they strike first.
Ward, however, disagrees. He intimated that Swindon’s erratic recent form can be put down to a number of different factors.
“It’s probably an easy comment to make from a lot of people, whether they understand football or not, because a lot of your defence starts from your attack, but people are entitled to say what they think and that’s fine,” said the Town skipper.
“We’ve had conversations before, which is fine. I think there’s a lot of things why. We’re a very young team and, as much as I’ve spoken about it before, we’ve gone out this season to learn and progress in a certain way.
“There are a number of different angles and ways you can look at it. I think what’s happened is we’ve had a few injuries, which have contributed. I think we’ve also played a lot of different formations, with a lot of different clientele. If you look at the top three clubs in this league they’ve more or less used the same team for the whole of this season.
“That gives you a lot of fluency and a lot of understanding and you build up a very good bond and relationship between each other. At times we’ve been unable to do that through injuries or for whatever reason, which I feel does have an impact on performances and progression.”
Summing up the defeat to the Dons, Ward said: “It’s very disappointing to have done that, especially when we came out in the second half and had a few close chances to go further ahead. To then find ourselves on the back foot for most of the second half wasn’t nice and to concede two goals how we did, especially the second one, was a real blow.
“We’ve got to gather our thoughts together and get back to the drawing board quite quickly because of the game we’ve got on Tuesday.”