A HAPPY camp at the County Ground is inspiring Luke Williams to believe that there is light at the end of the tunnel for his Swindon Town side.

Williams’ troops head into the latest crucial episode of their battle to escape the suffocating depths of the League One relegation zone this afternoon as they take on Port Vale – who are a point and a place below Town in 22nd – in Staffordshire.

Despite the unforgiving situation Swindon find themselves embroiled in, the head coach can identify enough encouraging signs to believe that his team can rescue themselves, and Williams has a stark example to back that up.

“I was lucky enough to go to a Premier League club a couple of years ago that were bottom of the Premier League and it was like a ghost-town after training,” said the Town chief, whose team had won back-to-back games before losing 1-0 to Chesterfield seven days ago.

“Everyone was gone immediately, there appeared to be no bond between the players and it had a terrible feeling around it “I don’t feel that at Swindon. I don’t see that.

“I think I was told the other day that we’re the youngest in League One and League Two, so it can very, very easily swallow up a young person; this environment is not forgiving and it’s not an easy one to learn quickly in.

“It can stop you from feeling enthusiasm, it can stop you feeling yourself, and you can go into your shell and become despondent.

“Then there’s no spirit, then there’s no bond between the players, then there’s no intensity in training – nobody can say anything to anybody else because everyone’s too uptight and sulking.

“It’s not like that here. I can promise you that.

“People are really ambitious to get out of this situation and to have a career as a footballer.

“The players have helped me feel like that with their performances, with the way that I see them train, with the way that they are around the building, and the way that they are together.”

Williams added: “I’m very focussed for every game and I’m prepared and I’m up for every game.

“The performances give me real hope that we can beat teams home and away, so I’m very much up for this game.

“I’m looking forward to it. I’m not going there with a dread of a feeling in my stomach that we can’t get anything – I’m going there optimistic.”