2017/18 League Two Preview: David Flitcroft and Swindonby Mike Holden / 11 July 2017, 10:48Tweet
Mike Holden (@Ratings_Mike) previews David Flitcroft and Swindon ahead of the upcoming 2017/18 League Two season.
Swindon and David Flitcroft both had seasons to forget in League One last term, so now join forces to rebuild their reputations in League Two. Chairman Lee Power’s low-cost recruitment policy eventually caught up with him as the Robins were relegated with a host of big-name loanees in their ranks. Flitcroft had Bury running like a high-speed train in September only to come off the rails for the second season running. A run of nine defeats in 11 matches saw him sacked by mid-November.
Flitcroft is an emotional guy and any season under his guidance can be quite a rollercoaster. When things are good, he cannot throw enough superlatives at the media to describe his players. When things are bad, he carries the weight of the world on his shoulders and those same players, now low on confidence, can be overwhelmed by the depth of obligation. Essentially, he’s a people person. He puts great faith in others and ranks camaraderie very high on his list of values.
"I think style has been at the forefront of what Swindon have done previously. But in my life, not just football, I’ve always put substance and structure in front of style. We’ve got to be robust, we’ve got to have a team of characters that can dig in. With some of the places you have got to go in League Two, only men can combat that. I need players with that real winning mentality that we have got to win first before we show our inner qualities."
A club of Swindon’s stature should be going all-out for automatic but Flitcroft is effectively creating a new culture from scratch and it might require a season of consolidation for him to put some proper foundations in place. That’s not to say there won’t be excitement. By Flitcroft's very nature and the trends of his career to date, there’s bound to be a thrilling run at some stage in the campaign when it would be easy to believe that promotion is on the cards.
Prediction: top half