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SWINDON TOWN: MacDonald wary of mid-table slips
KEVIN MacDonald says his Swindon Town side should be just as wary of sides hovering around mid-table as they are of their promotion rivals as the League One season enters its final stretch.
Town entertain 11th-placed Notts County tomorrow, knowing a win could take them top of the division if results elsewhere fall in their favour.
In any other campaign, with just eight games remaining, Notts would be resigned to mediocrity. But in the craziest of seasons Chris Kiwomya’s team are just six points off the play-offs and still stand a good chance of sneaking into the top six.
Regardless, MacDonald thinks the phrase “nothing to play for” really isn’t relevant in the third tier of English football.
“Chris has not long taken over there and he was a very good player. He’s now cutting his teeth in the management side and if they get three or four wins they’ll be trying to push up into the play-offs,” he said.
“We’ve just got to concentrate mainly on ourselves and if we can get all our players fit then we’ve got a really good chance because we’re as good as if not the best team in the league.
“This league is very deep in quality. Eleventh can still get in the play-offs, the bottom six or seven are trying to get out of that.
“If you look at this level the players will be desperate to perform as well as possible. They might be out of contract, they might be looking to progress to higher divisions - when people say there’s nothing to play for sometimes I feel it’s more difficult to play against teams like that.
“They can be more relaxed because they’re either safe or way off at the bottom so they can play with a bit of freedom.
“I don’t see that point as playing with nothing to play for. If we concentrate on what we’re trying to do, try to nullify Notts County’s strong points and hopefully we’ll get the right result.”
A seven-way battle exists for the automatic promotion places in League One, but MacDonald is paying little attention to the form of others.
“You look at Coventry and Walsall and earlier on this season they were in the bottom three or four and they’ve come flying up the table,” he said.
“I’m not bothered about those teams, though, I’m more bothered about ourselves. That’s the important thing we have to focus on because of the situation. We’ve had one or two niggles all of a sudden over the past couple of weeks and we’re having to develop one or two of the younger player to come into the squad.
“If we can concentrate mainly, not solely but mainly, on our team and our performance, then we’ve got every chance of getting into the promotion fight or automatic.”
Simon Ferry and Tommy Miller are carrying minor hamstring and calf knocks going into the game but both should be available, while Alan Navarro is fit again.
Miles Storey (hamstring), Troy Archibald-Henville (knee) and Aaron Oakley (fractured foot) remain sidelined. Louis Thompson should be available again following international duty with Wales Under 21s.