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Vialli advice can end goal drought
6:00am Friday 7th September 2012 in Sport
PAOLO Di Canio will use the lessons passed down to him by Gianluca Vialli to help Andy Williams get through his current goal drought.
Williams, a summer signing from Yeovil, has yet to find the net for the Robins this season despite being one of the stand-out performers over the course of Town’s seven games to date.
After the 1-0 defeat to Oxford on Wednesday night, Williams admitted he could start to “question his place in the team” should he not register in the not-so-distant future, but Di Canio has moved to ease the striker’s fears - assuring him his displays in a red shirt warrant a regular starting berth.
Leyton Orient come to town tomorrow and Di Canio is confident his frontman will break his duck at the County Ground , and the Swindon manager has spent the last few days using the wisdom of his former Juventus teammate Vialli to spur the 26-year-old on.
“Vialli always said to me ‘I was capable to go seven games without scoring’ and I asked how he could deal with it,” Di Canio told the Advertiser.
“He said he was angry but his tactic always was when there is a long period like this he could cancel in his head and say the season starts on Sunday. We play Sunday in Italy.
“I try to work in this way because this is the first time I have had this situation with my striker.
“Clean everything, we have only had seven games. We have another 42 plus cups - maybe a minimum of 44. On Saturday, start the season.
“It’s difficult but clean everything. He was close to scoring against Crawley, against MK Dons when he hit the bar, one was saved. He will score for sure, it is not a problem.
“It is important that he cleans his brain because not only will he not be cool in front of goal if he doesn’t clean his brain but it doesn’t help the team.
“The most important thing is, if you think about yourself, Saturday I will start and then you have to take the strength from the responsibility you’ve got.
“You have the appreciation of your manager, of your teammates - that has to be bigger than not scoring.
“Keep going because your place is there if you work like this.
“Everybody likes him, loves him, he’s a good guy, a fantastic professional, fantastic athlete, very good footballer, good quality, hard work - he has to only think ‘everybody likes me, don’t think too much if I don’t score’.
“This is the first moment I hope and I really believe Saturday he can score and start to score with grapes. He just has to relax.”
Di Canio himself admitted he rarely felt the pressures of a goalless spell during his own playing career, being as he was more of a provider than a finisher.
But he pledged to see Williams through a tricky start, in front of goal at least, to his time at Swindon.
“Obviously I wasn’t a goalscorer and it didn’t affect me in my brain. I was more an assist man and I enjoyed making assists,” he said.
“I started to have a good habit when I was at West Ham, I scored 16 in one season and it was my best season.
“The season later I remember for four games I didn’t score and I had more expectation on myself. It didn’t affect me a lot but probably because I didn’t have this habit for long.
“For him, he is a top striker - he’s the main target for us. I can help through the other strikers I’ve played with players who have top level experience.”
Meanwhile, Town’s boss expects Leyton Orient to provide a stringent physical test tomorrow afternoon.
“Physically they’re strong,” he said. “They work hard, they push hard and we have to understand probably we are going to have difficult first 10 or 15 minutes because they have physical presence, three black guys with pace. We know this.
“But at home we have always made a good performance. Obviously it is clear that at home for many teams, but especially for us, that we are a completely different team.
“I hope that we will keep going and wait for the moment where we can be strong enough to play the same football everywhere.
“At home we have to be strong as usual and let people understand that this is a fortress and in here we have to take the most points we can and wait for the better time when we play away from home.”
Di Canio will be without Gary Roberts and Giles Coke through injury while Troy Archibald-Henville is unlikely to play a part. James Collins is set to return after a minor niggle, however, and Di Canio remained coy over whether or not Matt Ritchie will have recovered from his hamstring problem in time for kick-off.
Orient are sweating over the fitness of goalkeeper Jamie Jones, who has a shoulder injury, and Lloyd James (twisted ankle).