IF SATURDAY’S 2-1 win at Carlisle United is anything to go by, then supporters of Swindon Town will have much to shout about in 2017-18.

Besides the obvious delight at the result in a tricky opening fixture in League Two, what was most encouraging was the manner in which it was earned.

There was real purpose to Town’s play. Gone are the days of possession for possession’s sake, here we saw possession with intent.

Most of Town’s attacks came from out wide and John Goddard, James Brophy and Chris Hussey wasted little time in seeing what could be garnered from running head on at their opposition full-backs.

And best of all, that was coupled with balls into the box delivered with real venom and trickery, instead of a simple cut-back to a team-mate into the middle of the pitch.

Town were not adverse to pumping up the odd long ball either and – before his afternoon was cut short by injury – Luke Norris looked as physical a presence as he ever has done in a Swindon shirt at Brunton Park, while his combination with Paul Mullin showed plenty of promise.

Norris was able to hold up the ball well, fashion chances for himself and others and had the poise and instinct to get gamble that Hussey’s low free-kick would reach him all the way at the back post to allow him to put his side in front.

Strike partner Mullin was a livewire and made several good runs off Norris and then substitute Harry Smith, and was not afraid to try his luck when in range.

Again, his goal summed up Town’s desire on the day, anticipating that Carlisle keeper Jack Bonham would not hold Goddard’s drive from distance and was on hand to gobble up and poke home what proved the crucial second.

David Flitcroft had his side defensively sound too and although Luke Joyce’s goal arrived with the inevitable Carlisle fightback, Town’s heart and resolve was in abundance.

Although an equaliser was threatened, it never looked that likely as Swindon dug deep, with new captain Olly Lancashire particularly prominent in a robust defence, as Flitcroft’s tenure began in perfect fashion.