Since securing a new deal, Swindon Town manager Michael Flynn has seen his team crash out dramatically in the FA Cup and lose two league games heavily. So it was no wonder he was quick to praise his team for sticking together to gain a well-deserved point at Harrogate Town.
The 7-4 thrashing by Aldershot Town in the FA Cup could’ve been seen as an anomaly, but they were followed by a 3-1 loss at Colchester United and then a 4-2 reverse at home to leaders Stockport County.
The bad run had to stop and Flynn was happy that the performance on Saturday was better than the recent weeks, and it is the results that everyone looks at, and is judged by. Swindon have not had a bad start to the season, and thus the reward of a contract extension for the management team.
After a good start to the game, in which Jake Young scored a lovely goal from outside the box, his fourth consecutive game getting on the scoresheet, Swindon were pegged back in the second half. This left Flynn with a case of what might have been.
🎙 #STFC Manager, Michael Flynn on today's draw against Harrogate:
— Swindon Town Football Club (@Official_STFC) November 18, 2023
The Swindon Advertiser picked up after the match with the boss. “We have started the second half poorly and given them the impetus, which is something we have done a number of times now after going in at half-time winning.
“Once they got the equaliser, for five minutes you are fearing the worst, but they stuck together. They stuck together and I think the performance deserved more than a point.”
Teams on a poor run, especially defensively, could fold when the tide turns. The fact that they didn’t is what encouraged the manager. He was still concerned about the way the team performance dropped for a spell.
“During the game, apart from that 20 minutes, I am not trying to kid anyone, we were poor, I am honest enough with the players about when they could do better and for that 20 to 25 minutes they could have.
“We started too slow and didn’t get up the pitch and we paid the price for it because we conceded from a free shot on the edge of the box. There were things we can improve on and I am frustrated because that group have given us everything.”
The approach before the game was to shore up a leaky defence in the past fortnight, and in the main, they coped. As always though there is room for improvement.
“That comes down to the mentality, the leadership, and knowing that you can’t switch off at any time. If we do we are usually getting punished, but fortunately, we got away with that one today.”
Michael Flynn will have his work cut out in the next few weeks as they have a trio of difficult games, starting with unbeaten Mansfield at home, before matches at Accrington Stanley and AFC Wimbledon. Their first point on the board since mid-October will give them confidence, and only conceding one goal will be a big relief to the gaffer.
Despite the blip in form, they are still in the top half of the League Two table, and only five points off the playoff places. Plenty for Michael Flynn to work on and turn around the season, which started so brightly.