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SWINDON TOWN: Di Canio challenges players to prove their worth
PAOLO Di Canio is close to making up his mind over who will start Town’s Capital One Cup game with Brighton on August 14, but has challenged his players to change his thoughts during the final two pre-season friendlies.
Town travel to Salisbury this evening for their penultimate warm-up game before hosting Crystal Palace on Wednesday, and although tonight’s line-up will not reveal Di Canio’s first choice 11, the Italian is close to making up his mind.
“In this moment if we had a competitive game tomorrow I have decided my starting 11, which is not the team that will play against Salisbury, but it is obvious I am clear,” he said.
“If tomorrow we are playing Brighton I know, but every game gives the players the chance to show me their importance.”
Di Canio is expecting a much-improved performance from his players, following their disappointing 1-0 victory over Swindon Supermarine on Monday night. “This is an opportunity to see the improvement, and we use this game for this reason.
“Against Supermarine we were not even at 10 per cent of our ability and we used our brain to improve how we should play together, but that is done now and in the last few days we work very well.
“I expect a different performance, with the passion they put in in the league and the cup because this is the only we become a winning team with a winning mentality.
“I want the players to forget the result, which is important in the league, but I also want improvement in the way we keep and pass the ball, and also in the way we defend and discipline.”
The Town boss is also expecting a tougher test as his side travel across Wiltshire to the Raymond McEnhill Stadium.
“We know they are a group of lads thinking they deserve an opportunity at a different level,” he said.
“This is normal for them and the young players in this league, because there are some players who want a bit more and want to test themselves against us.
“We have to be ready and give them the same respect we give, and only this way we show we have the better quality and the better team.
“If we underestimate any team and play at 50 per cent of our ability we become an average team and average players.
“I don’t want this to happen in my squad and I want a winning mentality.”