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SWINDON TOWN: Digby backs Wes to bounce back
FRASER Digby was shocked to see Wes Foderingham substituted so early during Swindon Town’s 4-1 defeat at Preston, but he has backed the Robins keeper to be sound of mind should he line up against Oxford on Wednesday.
Foderingham, who has been fined by manager Paolo Di Canio for his reaction to being withdrawn after 21 minutes of the clash at Deepdale, issued an apology via the club’s official website asking to be forgiven for the incident.
With the situation resolved, the former Crystal Palace man could start for Swindon at the Kassam Stadium in the first round of the southern section of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy tomorrow night.
And former Town hero Digby said the early moments at Oxford will be crucial for Foderingham’s frame of mind.
“I know what I was like when I was 21, I certainly had a different mentality to how I was at 35,” he told the Advertiser.
“I hope it does not affect him but he’ll be looking to get a good first touch if he does play. Wes will be wanting to get that positive first touch in early.
“The worry will be if that doesn’t come and how he will react to that.”
Digby, who played 505 times for the Robins between 1986 and 1998, did not understand why Foderingham was replaced so early in the game after just one major mistake.
“I think keepers are different. I saw the two goals,” he said.
“With the first one he got a clearance blocked, which happens to us all over the course of a career, and certainly with the second one he was not really given any chance and it was more his defence that was at fault.
“I find it difficult to understand how you can then substitute your goalkeeper after one mistake.
“From my own personal experiences, when you make a mistake it’s not about the mistake but it’s about the way you react to it.
“If you drop a cross then the next ball that comes into the box you do your best to get to and catch.”
When reminded that Di Canio stressed that it was Foderingham’s mental state as much as his mistakes that led him to remove his young goakeeper, Digby said: “He’s party to everything Wes does and how he is. That’s only for Wes to know.”
In a career spanning two decades, Digby said he had never experienced what Foderingham has now gone through inside his first 12 months of regular professional football.
“It has not happened to me but that’s probably because we did not have a keeper on the bench and there were only three subs,” he said. “Otherwise Steve McMahon would’ve tried that at some point.
“The first time I was dropped was under Glenn Hoddle and then I picked up the phone the following week and it was Alex Ferguson and I ended up going on loan to Manchester United so it was really up and down emotions.
“Goalkeepers are like a team within a team. We work together with the players but, from a goalkeeping point of view, the way we have to do things is different.
“When we make a mistake then it ends up with the ball in the back of the net whereas outfield players have the chance to recover and make up for what’s happened when they make a mistake.”