Swindon Town endured a miserable season in 2016-17, with the low-scoring Robins succumbing to relegation from League One. But brighter times look to be on the horizon, following the appointment of David Flitcroft earlier today.
He’s overseen League Two promotion already
Flitcroft certainly has an impressive track record in League Two, turning Bury from relegation candidates to a side celebrating automatic promotion within 18 months. That sort of turnaround is impressive in itself, but especially so at a club of the Shakers’ size.
Bury were averaging crowds of under 4,000 in 2014-15 and didn’t spend a penny in the summer or January transfer windows, yet the savvy gaffer led them to automatic promotion from League Two.
With Swindon’s attendance last term averaging out at more than 7,000, and the club having spent fairly decent sums on the likes of Lawrence Vigoroux and Luke Norris last summer, he’s got a far more promising base to start from than he did at Gigg Lane.
Excellent record in the transfer market
The 43-year-old brought an impressive calibre of player to Gigg Lane during his tenure – especially in light of the club’s modest budget and stature.
One of those buys, striker James Vaughan, struck 24 times in 37 league outings last term, proving the main man for the Greater Manchester side. Another – Leon Clarke – grabbed 15 league goals after joining the previous summer, before the club pocketed a fee from Sheffield United for his services.
They’re just two of a number of stellar buys he made – and with the Robins less of a selling club than Flitcroft’s former employers, chances are he’ll be able to build and develop a squad more easily than he did in the North-West.
Add the fact noted above – that previous bosses had money to spend at the County Ground – and there’s little doubt he’ll improve the squad, especially with some of the deadwood having already left since the last campaign ended.
He offers stability…
at a club that really needs it.
The managerial merry-go-round has been very much in force at the County Ground in recent times, with the Wiltshire outfit having chopped and changed with alarming regularity. In fact, the last time the same manager completed two full seasons in succession was Andy King – who left the club in 2005.
Flitcroft has shown he’s committed to the cause at Bury, spending almost three years at the helm before his eventual departure – and reportedly turning down offers from elsewhere while at the Shakers’ helm. If he does turn around Swindon’s fortunes, don’t expect the gaffer to exit at the drop of a hat.
For now though, it’s 14/1 for the Robins to win the League Two title at the first time of asking.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing