Relegation not ruled out for Swindon given three big absentees

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Swindon may have hung on for a play-off place at the end of last season, but this was the least that they arguably should have achieved, having looked strong candidates for automatic League One promotion for much of the final third of the campaign.

However, four defeats in their final six league outings, plus an exit on away goals in the play-off semi-finals, was not the end to the campaign that would have been hoped for.

And it is further negativity that may lie in wait rather than another lofty finish, as there are reasons to believe that Swindon’s price of 8/1 to suffer League One relegation this season is far more backable than the 7/1 that they achieve promotion.

Firstly, there is the obvious absence of Paolo Di Canio, whose exuberance clearly had a positive effect on the club as a whole and he did bring the success to back up his personality, winning League Two comfortably and claiming many notable scalps in cup competitions.

The money provided by Andrew Black should not be underestimated in Di Canio’s achievements and the club certainly had more financial guns at their disposal than the majority of their rivals.

With Black also part of Swindon’s history, new manager Kevin MacDonald will not benefit from the same spending luxury as Di Canio, which may be needed to secure another promotion.

This hasn’t stopped MacDonald looking to adapt his squad though, with numerous trialists attempting to prove their abilities in the close season, while Tottenham have been somewhat of a feeder club in terms of loan acquisitions.

Whether any of these new faces, including Massimo Luongo, Grant Hall, Alex Pritchard and Nathan Byrne, can make an impression remains to be seen, but it could well take them some time to gel with those currently at the club.

Meanwhile, MacDonald has already admitted that he has been unable to do much tactically so far this summer because of the merry-go-round of players that have passed through the County Ground.

Finding a player to live up to the calibre of Matt Ritchie could be vital if Swindon are to avoid being roped into a relegation dogfight. He was named League One player of the season before being sold, allegedly behind the back of Di Canio, to Bournemouth.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.