McGowan hugely grateful for 'unbelievable' support after admitting Cobblers 'were in a bad place' at Swindon

'It was the maddest 15 minutes I’ve had in football.'

Friday, 7th January 2022, 2:27 pm
Aaron McGowan applauds the Cobblers fans at Swindon.

Cobblers defender Aaron McGowan was hugely grateful for the 'unbelievable' backing his side received at Swindon Town after admitting they were 'in a bad place' due to COVID.

The players, most of which were coming back from nearly three weeks off, just had one day of training in a full group ahead of the trip to Wiltshire.

Initially that didn't show as Cobblers led 2-1 through goals from Sam Hoskins and Jon Guthrie after 50 minutes, but their lack of fitness and sharpness caught up with them as Swindon struck four times in 15 minutes.

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“I’ve felt it myself and I think a few others did as well but it’s not an excuse,” said McGowan.

“You can’t come here and concede five goals. What probably worked in Swindon’s favour was that they had a game in midweek and were able to blow away the cobwebs a little bit.

“I think you could see we were a bit rusty but up until the 50th minute, it was two good teams going at it and it was an entertaining game for the neutral.

“But then I think we really run out of steam. We have been here before and we’ve had a few bad results – Hartlepool and Sutton spring to mind – and then look what we did after that so I have full confidence in this group that we can go again.”

There was not much in the game for 50 minutes but everything changed in a remarkable 15-minute spell, with seemingly every ricochet going against the shell-shocked visitors.

“It just felt like one of those days where you can’t really explain what happened, even if you played in it,” McGowan admitted.

“It’s very unlike us because one thing we have been is solid and resolute defensively and for 15 minutes it was just madness.

“We didn’t defend well enough. I think four of their five goals are rebounds that have come off our players. Those clearances need to be better.

“It’s disappointing because the fans have travelled in unbelievable numbers. I think we have the best away support in the division and we let them down a bit.

“Hopefully they will stick by us and get right behind us because we will need them.”

Still second in the league, Cobblers remain well-placed ahead of their first home game in five weeks.

McGowan added: “We break the season down into five game blocks and so far we’ve managed to hit our target for every cycle.

“Saturday was a tough one to take but we have Crawley at home next and hopefully the fans can get behind us.

“I want to reiterate how unbelievable they were.

“There wasn’t even any boos. I think they knew we were in a bad place and they supported right until the end.

“We would probably take second now at this stage but you can’t just say it, you have to go out and do it and we didn’t do it on Saturday.

‘But the next game is a chance to bounce back and get on the horse.”