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PAOLO Di Canio will begin to rotate his squad over the next few weeks, as Swindon are greeted with a fixture pile-up at the start of the new campaign.
After beating Brighton in the first round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday, Town have been handed a draw with Stoke in round two - which has since been confirmed for Tuesday, August 28.
That means the Robins will open up with six games in the season’s first 19 days - a hectic opening to the new term.
The intense pre-season fitness work that Di Canio subjected his players to will no doubt prove to be effective over the coming fortnight, but the Swindon manager has admitted he will be mixing his options around to try to protect his squad.
“It’s obvious that I will be in some way obliged to rotate my players. It’s not the moment to change four or five because it’s the beginning and we can play two games in four days,” he told the Advertiser.
“We trained hard for this but someone can recover a bit late, the age is a bit important for the rusty men - hamstrings and calves - and this year will be even more crucial to study our players mentally.
“Every player wants to play and maybe they play at 60 or 70 per cent to try to handle the situation to handle some pain.
“We will read it carefully this year because for long periods we will play Tuesday-Saturday, Tuesday-Saturday.
“The recovery, not now but in two or three games when you play hard game like we are going to play Saturday, will be more difficult even if we have trained with high intensity.
“A little problem came for Gary (Roberts) because previously he received a little kick near the calf and he had a haematoma and he pushed more.
“The recovery will be crucial in how I play my players.”
Nevertheless, Di Canio insisted he would not change his side just for the sake of it.
He said: “I have more options but I am not only rotating just to rotate.
“I have to check the opponents. We win 3-0 but the opponents maybe have some different quality and I maybe think with three different players I can beat the next opponent.”
Meanwhile, the Advertiser understands former captain Paul Caddis has not travelled with the Town squad to Hartlepool. Di Canio has left the door open for the Scot to return to the side despite stripping him of the captaincy last week, but the Italian has decided he will not be involved in today’s game.