Swindon Town will be looking for a massive upturn in fortunes when former boss David Flitcroft brings his Mansfield Town side to the County Ground tomorrow.
The Robins have never made any secret of their desperation to get back into League One and last season – the majority of which was under Flitcroft – was a significant disappointment with a squad that, on paper at least, looked like it should be contending.
Now they have gone four League Two games without a win and four at home without a win too.
Chairman Lee Power has said recently that he believes there is a strong enough squad in place to be challenging – although many supporters are highly sceptical of that point of view.
Town seem to be in a bit of a one step forward, two steps back feel at the moment, struggling with any consistency and also struggling with goals.
They had the bulk of possession in Saturday’s 2-0 defeat at Exeter but rarely looked like scoring in what boss Phil Brown described as a ‘totally unacceptable performance.”
Since Brown replaced Flitcroft as manager there have been some highlights – a 3-0 win at an in-form Yeovil, plus comeback home wins over Tranmere and Macclesfield among them.
But there have also been some horror shows, including a 4-1 loss at Lincoln and a dreadful 2-1 home loss to Bury.
However, Brown is always very chipper as a manager and the fans’ scepticism is more about the strength of his squad.
Ahead of Saturday the Robins’ biggest concern is over top scorer Michael Doughty, who has missed the last few matches with a hip problem.
He was due to feature in a behind-closed-doors match this week along with frontman Kaiyne Woolery, who has been back on the bench for the last two matches and scored in the Checkatrade Trophy win against Plymouth last week.
Brown hopes Doughty may be fit to play on Saturday, along with defender Sid Nelson, who has also been injured recently, but was back on the bench at Exeter.
Despite missing a string of recent games, Doughty remains leading scorer with five in seven games from midfield and he is a popular figure among supporters.
Back for his third spell with Town after two previous loan stints, he signed a two-year deal in the summer and adds drive from the middle of the park. Town have looked fairly toothless without him.
Keshi Anderson is also reasonably key going forward for Town.
An attacker, he either plays right up top or in behind a front two, as he did at Exeter on Saturday when he was the man that everything went through for Town.
Anderson is always looks to make things happen, but his goals return has so far been disappointing.