LUKE Williams says that he prioritises ‘commitment over ability’ after confirming that four of his Swindon Town players have been fined for their conduct in the lead-up to Tuesday’s game against Sheffield United.
First-choice goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux and full-backs Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill and James Brophy were all axed for Tuesday’s 4-2 defeat to the Blades, and head coach Williams confirmed yesterday that forward Jordan Stewart, who hasn’t featured since Town’s game against Chesterfield on March 4, had also been punished for a breach of club discipline.
The Swindon chief only alluded to unsatisfactory ‘activities’ that the quartet had taken part in before Tuesday’s game and when asked if Vigouroux, Ormonde-Ottewill, Brophy and Stewart will be part of his travelling squad for tomorrow’s trip to Bradford City, Williams said: “some will, some won’t.”
Brophy, 22, was seen driving away from the County Ground around an hour before Town’s team coach was due to depart on Friday morning.
On Stewart, Williams said: “I believe he was involved in taking part in activities that are not showing me complete commitment, so he’s in that group as well.
“They’re in contention but I think now is the time for those players to build up credit in the bank and make a big effort to show that they’re completely focused on the job at hand.
“I think they need to go above and beyond because this is a time for everybody to be completely focused, and when you’re demonstrated that you’re not, you then need to do double to show that you are.
“I’ve got no problem being judged if we’re not good enough.
“Me and the staff, and the players, if we’re not good enough, we expect to not be successful but not to be completely committed is not acceptable for me.”
Williams also claimed that he had no regrets over his decision to come down hard on his insubordinates.
The Swindon boss said: “No regrets at all. None.
“If I had a chance to make the same decision again, I will, because I think some things take priority over others.
“Ability is one thing but if you haven’t got with that the commitment and the desire, at some point, ability will let you down – it will never be enough.
“A combination of ability and commitment is what you’d prefer. I would take commitment over ability, though.”