THE possibility of two trips to Wembley this season should ensure Swindon Town’s players don’t lose focus ahead of tonight’s clash with Colchester United, according to Louis Thompson.
Town face Peterborough United on Monday with the winner guaranteed the chance to run out at English football headquarters in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy final but before then the U’s are in Swindon for a bread-and-butter League One tie.
Players’ minds could stray from the task at hand, with such a big game on the horizon, but Thompson stressed that the Robins’ aim this season remains to not only to win the JPT but also secure promotion to the Championship via the play-offs – meaning two visits to Wembley.
He said: “Wembley is a prize but we also have the play-offs as a prize in the league and we want to play in the highest competition we can. The Championship is a real carrot for us and we are looking at Friday and looking to do the job and show our professionalism. “For me it’s about playing well when I get the chance and that’s all I can ask from myself. I’ve been pleased with what I’ve done but I just have to keep going now and take every chance I get.”
Swindon may be in action on Valentine’s night but Thompson said there would be no squabbles in his teammates’ households.
“I think the girlfriends have to understand the team comes first really and to be honest the game on the Friday is a little bit of an added extra because we can put the points on the board and put pressure on the other teams around us,” he said. “It also gives us another day’s rest going into the Monday game.”
Town beat Colchester 2-1 when the teams met in Essex in November, as Swindon manager Mark Cooper employed a 4-6-0 formation with terrific success.
“We went there and played a formation we hadn’t played before and I think that was a great decision to play it,” said Thompson. “We gave their defenders so much time on the ball they really didn’t know what to do with it and to be honest we maybe should have beaten them by a bit more than we did. They scored the late goal and it was only really a consolation for them so hopefully we can do the same at home.”