SWINDON Town head coach Luke Williams is hoping to keep the feelgood factor from Saturday’s bumper crowd going for the remainder of the season.
With fans queuing to enter the Don Rogers Stand before the game with MK Dons, the club reported a crowd just shy of 8,000 at the County Ground following week-long campaigns to increase the attendance by the Adver and the club’s own media department.
The Town End were in full voice well before kick-off and as the players stepped out onto the pitch, they were met by a wall of sound as balloons cascaded onto the pitch from the two side stands.
Williams noted the increased atmosphere, which helped the team to clinch a late equaliser in a game they could ill-afford to lose and hopes that those fans will return on Friday, when Town host AFC Wimbledon in their penultimate home game of the season.
“They (the fans) were different class,” he said.
“Like I always say, we need to give them something to cheer and then they will oblige.
“I knew the team were going to be set up cautiously because I didn’t want the game to get away from us – MK Dons scored in five, seven and 10 minutes in the last two games.
“I didn’t want the team to come out and give the fans nothing at all to hang onto.
“I knew in the second period of the game that the game would open up and we would give them more to shout about.
“I was hoping we would go into that 20 minutes or half hour at 0-0 but it wasn’t the case.
“The response when we started to throw everybody forward was wonderful from them.
“I’m really grateful on behalf of myself and my staff, we really felt that. It was absolutely superb.
“I honestly can’t thank everybody enough.”
Williams came in for criticism from some sections of the Town fans in the wake of Saturday’s draw for not being gung-ho enough for the full 90 minutes.
However, having seen a more cautious approach work in the narrow victories over Millwall and Fleetwood Town previously, he is aware that it is about searching for that equilibrium.
“I would love to put a team on the pitch that excites them and they can cheer and of course I have got a job to make sure the balance is right,” he added.
“I have been guilty in the past of maybe making the team try to put too many players forward and leave us vulnerable.
“We’re trying to find every answer and it feels like many people are helping our cause and that really is a fantastic feeling.”