AN EXPERIENCED manager who will lead the team to promotion – that should be the blueprint for the next head coach of Swindon Town according to the fans who are eagerly waiting for an appointment to be made.

A number of high-profile suggestions have been tipped to replace Ben Garner since his departure almost two weeks ago, yet none of them have resulted in a concrete announcement from the County Ground.

With pre-season set to begin, Swindon have a strength and conditioning team in place but no head coach, and some fans are becoming anxious over the team’s prospects with last season’s miraculous effort still fresh in the memory.

Life-long Town supporter Mike Penney said: “We’re always late to the show for pre-season, it seems. We don’t need that again.

“We need someone to get us out of this division, pure and simple. Not a first-time coach. Ideally, we’d have someone who is prepared to stay here for a while.

“But of course, if they’re too successful chances are they’ll be poached anyway. But not an under-23s coach, not for me.”

Dave Johnson, who was picking up his new home shirt from the shop on Thursday, echoed Mike’s comments regarding an older hand being the preferred choice.

He said: “I understand getting a coach from an under-23 side and signing a few development players, but we don’t necessarily want to be that sort of club. We need to have a bit more experience on the pitch.

“It fell down in January last season when the key loan players went back and we had to build a new team.

“We don’t want to be in that position again, so I’d like to have someone with a bit of experience and with some key contacts.”

Names such as Fabrizio Piccareta, Paul Caddis, and Richie Wellens had been floated about as potential candidates, but Town fan Ollie Parsons believes the next head coach does not necessarily have to hold any links to the club.

Ollie said: “I did enjoy the Michael Carrick and Ryan Mason rumours, just for that ex-Swindon link who’s a big name. But I think it’s about getting the right person.

“If the guy has got a Swindon link, fantastic. If he hasn’t, it doesn’t matter. The advantage of having an unknown is that he starts with a clean slate.

“But we just want someone who’s going to come in and do a good job and get us promoted back to League One.”