Fleetwood Town head coach believes they got what they deserved in Swindon Town defeat

Fleetwood Town boss Simon Grayson reflected on a frustrating day for his players after they slid to a 2-0 home defeat against relegation battlers Swindon Town.

Monday, 22nd March 2021, 8:00 am

A goal in each half from Scott Twine helped John Sheridan’s visitors to victory at Highbury, one which not only lifted them off the foot of League One but also out of the drop zone altogether.

In contrast, Grayson’s players were left stunned as their impressive six-game unbeaten run was curtailed.

Twine opened the scoring early on with the first goal Fleetwood had conceded in five matches.

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Fleetwood Town's players suffered defeat on Saturday Picture: Stephen Buckley/PRiME Media Images Limited
Fleetwood Town's players suffered defeat on Saturday Picture: Stephen Buckley/PRiME Media Images Limited

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“That was a big part,” reflected Grayson.

“It gives the opposition a massive lift, and when you’re fighting and scrapping for your lives and you get an early goal, it gave them belief and something to hang on to.

“They caused us problems with their shape as we weren’t quite sure how they were going to play it, but at least we did improve in the second half when we had a lot more possession.

“We could have gone on until tomorrow and probably not looked like scoring, though.

“We got in some decent areas, but attacks just seemed to fizzle out and we didn’t work their goalkeeper enough.

“Looking back, it was just a frustrating afternoon due to a lot of different things.

“We have spoken a lot about fine margins since I came to the club, but they just didn’t go our way in this game.”

Sheridan’s rock-bottom Robins struck early when Twine wrongfooted Callum Connolly before beating Alex Cairns from 12 yards.

Town’s best chance of a leveller before half-time came when James Hill headed narrowly wide.

Ged Garner hit the post as Town looked re-energised after the break before Twine scored his second on the hour mark.

“Of course it’s hugely disappointing when you’ve been on a run like we have,” added Grayson, whose side doesn’t play again until Good Friday when they host promotion-chasing Peterborough United.

“It’s a feeling I’ve not experienced much since I arrived at the club.

“I’d said to the players beforehand that this was probably going to be the hardest game they’d faced in a while because Swindon are a team who have been struggling and fighting for their lives.

“Mentally, were we up for the challenge given how high we were after beating Ipswich in midweek?

“I don’t know, but when you give a team who are scrapping for their lives an early goal, it gives them some belief, confidence and something to hold on to.

“We just didn’t play well enough, both without the ball and with the ball. Because of that we got what we deserved.

“Compared to our previous few games, our intensity dropped.

“Maybe it was a game too far for us in terms of the schedule we’ve had over these past number of weeks.

“Should I have changed the team? Well, hindsight may suggest not but everyone was fine and played well against Ipswich so I didn’t think I needed to.

“Our energy levels were down, though, and when you have too many players having only average games, that contributes to what was a very average team performance, and that’s what it was.”

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