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SWINDON TOWN: Wray expects JPT sell-out
SWINDON Town chairman Jeremy Wray has predicted a sell-out crowd when the Robins travel to Oxford in the first round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy looking to settle two counts of “unfinished business”.
Town were handed a derby date with their local rivals when the draw for the southern section of the competition was made on Saturday morning, giving Swindon’s players the perfect opportunity to make amends for double defeat to the U’s in League Two last term.
Traditionally, games at this stage of the Football League Trophy are poorly attended but Wray expects fans to come out in force as the A420 rivalry resumes in earnest next month.
“I would anticipate that it will be sold out and from that point of view it’s a fabulous draw,” he said.
“It’s a shared gate which will help but for the players it’s a great chance to get back the bragging rights after last season.
“A local derby gives us an earlier opportunity than expected to make amends for those two games last season.
“After leaving that league there was a possibility that we wouldn’t get the chance as we may not be in the same league for some time.
“From the players’ point of view, to play a first-round JPT game in front of a sell-out crowd would be fantastic.”
Following their JPT final loss to Chesterfield at Wembley in March, Wray has also challenged the Swindon team to go one better and lift the trophy at football’s spiritual home next year.
“Our ultimate aim would be to win the FA Cup, the JPT, the League - but let’s be realistic,” he said.
“We’ve shown last season what we are capable of when we got to a Wembley final in the JPT as a League Two club, now we’ve got every opportunity to do so again as a League One club.
“Obviously as a club we’d like to do the same again but it’s never easy.
“Having lost the final there last year it does feel like there might be some unfinished business.”
No date has yet been decided for the fixture, although with Town playing at Preston on Sunday, September 2 it is likely that the game will be played on Wednesday, September 5.
A significant police presence is certain for the clash, with Wray saying: “Inevitably there will be extra policing costs and I hope they (the costs) are not too stupid.”
Town are entitled to up to 15 per cent of the Kassam Stadium’s capacity according to the rules of the competition, meaning up to 1,750 tickets could be available to Swindon fans.
However, that figure may be limited by segregation arrangements.