LET’S be honest, the first half of the season at the County Ground has been painful.

We’ve gone from the unconvincing signings in the summer to a new formation not producing results and ultimately costing Mark Cooper his job. Thankfully, we did see an upturn in form with the arrival of Martin Ling.

Town went from joint bottom to six points off the play-offs in just six weeks, but all that hard work is now in jeopardy as we look for our third manager of the season.

It will be gripping to see which side Town will fall over the next couple of months.

But before we get too far into 2016, we should look back at the last five months and hand out some well-earned awards.

Player of the (half) season – Raphael Rossi Branco

THE Brazilian defender has been the pick of the bunch with his heroic defending. He’s still let himself down at times, but overall he’s been a rock at the back, and has benefited from having an experienced defender in Adam El-Abd alongside him.

Good business – Brad Barry

DESPITE being signed in the summer as a back-up to Nathan Thompson, the former Brighton man was made the step-up to first team football after Thompson suffered a long-term injury. Initially he struggled to play in a flat back four, but ever since the formation was changed back to the successful 3-5-2 from last season, he’s flourished in a wing-back role.

Bad business – Henrik Ojamaa

THE Estonian international is an unfortunate casualty of the change in formation. Ojamaa was signed to play as a winger under the new 4-1-2-3, but as soon as that was ditched the former Motherwell midfielder could not find a role in the team. Thankfully he has another five months to turn his season around.

Most Important in 2016 – Nathan Thompson

AS WE waved goodbye to Adam El-Abd this week, the captain’s return from injury can’t come soon enough.

Nathan endured a nightmare 2015 as a recurring injury hampered his progress. It was hard not to shed a tear watching him on crutches at the end of the play-off final, it showed his care and passion for everything Swindon Town.

Having someone with his desire and quality back in the heart of defence will give the whole club a boost.