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SWINDON TOWN: Roberts encouraged by chat with Town boss
WINGER Gary Roberts has revealed a private chat with manager Paolo Di Canio has given him encouragement as he bids to recapture his best form.
The 28-year-old returned to the Town starting line-up against Carlisle on Saturday after a spell on the bench, and impressed against the Cumbrians as he linked up well with strikers Andy Williams and James Collins.
Roberts now faces a battle with Raffa De Vita to secure the left-sided spot in Di Canio’s midfield, but the former Huddersfield winger is pleased to have received his manager’s support.
“I tried to work hard on the training ground, and the manager and me had a good chat a couple of weeks ago and he told me just to keep going and work hard,” he said.
“It is not like I have been left in the dark or not given a chance or anything like that, nothing has changed and I have begun working a little bit harder and I want to put some good performances in.
“What was said is between me and the gaffer, but we spoke about things to improve my games and he said some things that would help me out.
“It is good to have a manager who backs you, and it was good to talk about a few things.
“There are not too many players at the club who are not playing well at the moment, but if you are not playing well he knows why, and he will try to rectify that.”
Town go into Saturday’s game with Bournemouth on the back of three big home wins, scoring 14 unanswered goals.
Roberts believes he and his teammates will approach the meeting of the league’s two most in-form teams knowing they are capable of finding the net on at least one occasion.
“It is good for the players to have such a big game at the end of the week, because it means we will certainly have a good week building up to it, and we will be focused,” he said.
“We will work hard on how to stop them and how to hurt them, and both teams are on a very good run so it will certainly be a good game for the neutral.
“We would have taken a 1-0 from the games in truth, and even though it has been great getting the big wins in truth in football you just want the three points.
“It gives the team great confidence and it gives you great goal difference come the end of the season which is vital, and when we go out there on the pitch we feel very confident.
“That only increases when we score the first goal, and a lot of that comes from us winning well in the last few games.”
Meanwhile, Troy Archibald-Henville will only face eight weeks on the sidelines following a knee operation.
Di Canio had suggested that the defender could have been ruled out for as long as six months with cartilage damage but, following the surgery out in Italy earlier this week, Swindon physio Paul Godfrey revealed that the former Exeter man could return within just two.
He told the club’s official website: “I am pleased to say that following the surgery, Professor Mariani informed the club that Troy’s knee was not the worst-case scenario and, in fact, (he) only had to perform a meniscal repair to re-attach and stabilize a small part of the cartilage on the inside of Troy’s knee.
“As a result, we expect Troy to now need approximately eight weeks of rehab before he is fully fit again.”