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SWINDON TOWN: 'We're still not ready'
PAOLO Di Canio feels his Swindon Town team cannot yet be considered title challengers after a crazy final 10 minutes at Portsmouth almost caused them to surrender two League One points.
Town seemed to be coasting to a comfortable 2-0 victory at Fratton Park as they dominated their hosts with a display of fluent, fluid football, only to fall into disarray in the closing moments.
Lubomir Michalik pulled a goal back for Pompey, after Lee Williamson hit the post and Darel Russell headed against the bar for the home team, but it was not enough and Swindon left Hampshire with due reward for an otherwise impressive display.
Di Canio was happy to emerge from his trip to the south coast with a first win in five matches, but he rued the fact that his players could not see out the full 90 minutes as they had 80.
“I have learned that we are not ready yet for the top of the league, because this is a different level and if you switch off for eight minutes you can lose five goals,” he said.
“We played 80 minutes where we should have been 10 or 12 goals above, but for six or seven minutes we switched off and let them create four or five chances.
“We need to grow up like we did last year, and we need to look at the last 10 minutes to become a nasty and malicious team for 97 minutes.
“They remain Portsmouth and they didn’t become Barcelona in the last 10 minutes, and we put under risk our result.
“For 10 crazy minutes I am not happy.
“I am the manager of this team, and the reason I was not worried about the three defeats in a row, it is because we played this football.
“It is not normal to see my team suffer in the last 10 minutes, but I was not surprised to see us 2-0 up.
“The opponents created for good chances after we dominated the game for 80 minutes, and we have to work on it.
“I didn’t change and I don’t want people to think I am always unhappy, but I was not happy.
“It is not possible to score all the chances we create but we should have scored five goals, and they didn’t deserve to draw.
“The player must not celebrate like we won the Champions League even though it is difficult to win at this ground, because in the last 10 minutes we were very bad.”