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Now finish the job
SWINDON manager Paolo Di Canio wants his players to put in a ‘special performance’ to complete the job and ensure the Robins are crowned League Two champions at home to Port Vale tomorrow.
Town have their destiny in their own hands and three points will secure the trophy in front of a packed County Ground, while a point will be enough if second placed Shrewsbury do not beat Dagenham.
Di Canio is convinced his side will bounce back from two defeats on the bounce away at Aldershot and Gillingham, and end the season in style.
“We were right to celebrate at Gillingham because we were promoted automatically and the fans were right to celebrate too, but in some ways I was not happy because of the performance,” he said.
“But now I want to guarantee this club is called the champions, and for myself I want to be a champion too and my team deserve this. I do not want them to lose their mindset for the next two games.
“It is difficult because the lads did a fantastic job from the beginning of the season until two or three weeks ago. It was natural some should relax a little bit, and this is true at any level.
“But unfortunately it happened even if we did not want it to, but I am sure they realise we should do better and win the next two games because we have the quality to do this, and we want to extend our wins from 28 to 30, this is a big number from 46 games.
“We want to keep a clean sheet too because before the last two games we conceded 27 goals in 42 games, and in the last two we let in five. This is not intelligent and we need to give more to win in a special way.
“If we do not win the league I do not want to say it will cancel everything we have done in the last nine months, but it would leave us with a bad taste.
“They understood this and trained very well in the last two games because we want to give a special performance to be called champions.”
The Italian is also pleased the club have the chance to lift the trophy in front of their own fans, and believes this will drive the players on to get the three points they need.
“I hope they have the motivation to celebrate in front of our fans, and it should be sold out, 14,000, and it could be a good day for everyone,” he said.
“There is a chance for my players to be on a stage and jump and celebrate, and they deserve it. This has to be an extra motivation for the players, so in our league we are champions.
“We have made the County Ground a fortress, and since August we have not lost at home, so maybe we can extend this.
“As a manager you want to be like Jose Mourinho and have three years not losing at home, and if you do this it means you will have a good result.”
Meanwhile, Town have so far sold 11,711 tickets for the game.
Tickets in the Arkells Stand, Don Rogers Stand and the Town End have sold out, with the remaining home tickets available on the Stratton Bank.