PAOLO Di Canio wants his Swindon Town players to show a different side to their game as they bid to grind out a positive result in the top-of-the-table clash with Tranmere.
The Robins have become known for their stylish, free-flowing brand of passing football in League One this season, and it was that philosophy which ripped Rovers apart when they visited the County Ground in December.
On that occasion, Ronnie Moore’s side returned to the Wirral licking the wounds incurred by a 5-0 hiding as Town produced a display of scintillating quality. This weekend, however, Di Canio believes his players will need to call upon resilience and resolve if they are to complete the league double over their high-flying hosts.
After the victory over Shrewsbury last weekend, the Italian suggested Tranmere had “not seen anything yet” from his Swindon team, and yesterday he explained what he meant.
“It wasn’t an intention to provoke something. I discovered that they are still speaking about the game that they played here. For me, when I said that they hadn’t seen anything yet it does not mean I am sure that we are going to play there and win 7-0, but there is also the chance to win with more bravery and more energy.
“We can show them we can win the game not just by playing good football with style but we can also win against a side which can use its physical presence and on a pitch which is not usually one of the best in this period.
“We have to adapt ourselves and be ready to fight against one of the top sides. We are ready to challenge and I am sure we can do a very good job there.
“There is a big interest in this game because we have come into it from some good performances and Tranmere exactly the same, since the day they played against us.
“They are two of the best teams, in general and also at the moment, so I am curious to watch my team in action there because it will be a very good game to play.”
Di Canio showed the slightest signs of jealousy when referred to the fact Tranmere sit seven points above Town in the table, albeit having played two games more.
“I would like to stay seven points above with two more games than the others because I would have points already, but potentially we are very close and this game gives us the opportunity to get even closer. For them it is an opportunity to extend the gap,” he said.
“I always tell my players to play for the win but, at the worst, even if we are not in a good day and go out with a point it would be very good.”
Joe Devera is available to Di Canio after returning to training following a hamstring injury but is unlikely to start, while Alan McCormack is expected keep his place at left-back ahead of Jay McEveley. Tommy Miller is set for a recall to the middle of midfield in the absence of Danny Hollands.