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SWINDON TOWN: No more charity cases
PAOLO Di Canio will send his Swindon players out on a revenge mission this evening as he bids to take back the ‘charity’ his side gifted to rivals Oxford last season.
Town lost both their meetings with their near-neighbours in 2011/12 as they went down 2-1 at the County Ground before suffering a 2-0 defeat at the Kassam Stadium in March, but still went on to win the League Two title while Oxford finished ninth.
The two defeats hurt Di Canio, and the Italian is intent on claiming the local bragging rights this evening in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy like he believes his side should have done last season.
“Win, lose or draw – anything can happen –but in terms of professional commitment I really am sure they are going to make a very good performance,” he said. “I told my players that for me and for everybody, even though the six points Oxford got from us last year was enough for them to reach nothing, I don’t like to give this kind of charity.
“It’s time we play for what we deserve because we have to be honest – if we put together the 180 minutes the game should finish 12-5. At the end we lost 2-1 and 2-0, incredible, but it was the result.
“Fair enough, we have to have more determination, take our chances, be strong and focused for 95 minutes.
“Of course I expect a good performance because I can’t imagine they won’t give me 100 per cent for many reasons – it is the cup, local rivals, fantastic atmosphere from our fans obviously not from Oxford fans. I don’t see why we can’t perform with desire and commitment.
“Normally when we come from a very, very bad performance without the commitment, desire and passion, then we recover and there are all the situations for us to give our best.”
Di Canio is keen for the club to enjoy another special run in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy after reaching the final last year, but the Italian is not getting carried away at the thought of another trip to Wembley just yet.
“We have to give something to our fans and it is time for us in the cup to do something special. We did it with Brighton, with Stoke, now for many reasons against Oxford in the JPT,” he said. “But there are other reasons. It is the only competition we can reasonably reach Wembley – I’m talking about cups because obviously you can go to the play-offs as well.
“So it’s the only real cup we can win, so I want good performances because I want to go to Wembley. Let me go to Wembley and then maybe I can tell you I want to win. We go through the second round and the third round and once we reach a Wembley final I can tell you ‘now, we’re going to win a trophy’.”