Swindon boss Wellens has a plan to counter Cobblers' aerial threat

Opposing styles go head-to-head at the PTS

Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 10:13 am
Updated Tuesday, 11th February 2020, 11:29 am
Richie Wellens

It'll be a battle of two contrasting footballing philosophies at the PTS tonight when the Cobblers host Swindon Town in a huge fixture at the top end of Sky Bet League Two.

While Keith Curle's Northampton favour the direct approach and like to have crosses and balls raining into the box, table-topping Swindon, under the management of Richie Wellens, are more of a passing, high-pressing team.

Both approaches have yielded success to varying degrees this season, particularly in Swindon's case. They head to the PTS tonight sitting top of the pile in League Two, eight points and five places above the Cobblers.

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Wellens was not too impressed by Northampton's tactics during his side's 1-0 defeat in August's reverse fixture, saying at the time: “We came up against a team that just wanted to camp in, boot the ball long and hope for a mistake to set-up a set-piece."

Andy Williams scored the only goal of the game that night and Cobblers will be hoping to upset Swindon's rhythm again while taking advantage of their perceived physical advantage.

But Wellens has a plan to nullify Town's crossing game. He said: "What we’ve got to make sure we do on Tuesday is play the way that we want to play, be switched on defensively, stop crosses and be in the right areas.

"Because Northampton are a very good crossing team. We’ve got to make sure our defensive line is as high as possible to keep their strikers out of the box so that if they do win a header, we’ve got distance for our goalkeeper to work with and our defenders to cover."

Swindon could lose top spot for the first time in three months tonight should they lose at the PTS and Crewe Alexandra beat Crawley.

But despite going two months without putting together successive wins, Wellens does not believe his side have struggled with consistency, adding: “We’ve lost two out of our last 18 league games – is that inconsistent?

“I’ll tell you what – if you were to tell me we would lose two of our final 14 games, I’d take it.”