NOT knowing whether he will receive the backing he needs to keep his loan stars in Wiltshire is the driving force behind Paolo Di Canio’s persistence in branding a top-six finish for Swindon Town unrealistic.

After getting the financial support to finally lift the Robins out of embargo and free up his options in the transfer market, Di Canio acted quickly this month to recruit Danny Hollands and Chris Martin to the County Ground cause.

The pair’s deals with Town both expire on January 5, the same week that John Bostock is due to return to Spurs and Darren Ward to Millwall.

Right now Di Canio is unsure whether he is going to be given the clout to extend the quartet’s stays in Swindon - and that fact alone is leading him to steer clear of any rash predictions before the term reaches its halfway mark.

“The problem is we don’t know what is going on with the loan players in one month’s time,” he said.

“I don’t have any insurance over this. If we win the next five games you are close in there and you can start not to dream but to say we have already saved the season with half to go.

“What’s going on at the end of December? I don’t know.

“I can tell you in 10 games’ time, not in two or three, even if we win two and we stay close to the top. There are 23 games to go, it’s a long, long run.

“If I’m going to lose the four loans that not only can make a difference in terms of quality but give a genuine and positive inside competition to challenge for places, we will drop back to two months ago when I said we would lose position.

“I don’t want to predict something wrong because it’s early but I can’t confirm, even if they are doing a very good job for me, the loan players. They are doing a very good job and then when we have to keep them, they leave.

“Imagine what can happen in the dressing room. My job is to motivate but it’s human. So because of this I can’t predict now.

“It’s not realistic. I don’t want to sound pathetic but it’s not realistic. We have a chance tomorrow to win and stay close there but in the future it is not realistic to predict now.

“We are there, we did well, but we have to be intelligent, honest with the people because Paolo Di Canio doesn’t know what can happen in four weeks time because it’s not clear to be honest. The picture’s not clear.

“I will do my job 24 hours per day, I will try like crazy to win every game but what’s going to happen in the future I don’t know. Someone else maybe yes.”