Better late than never as Fitton finally finds his man

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Town fan Nick Judd on the new County Ground guv'nor...

When Danny Wilson was appointed Swindon Town’s new manager on Boxing Day, you could hear the collective sigh of relief from Westbury to Wootton Bassett.

It might not have been the A-list manager some fans wanted – myself included, although in our defence we were told one candidate “would knock our socks off”– but given the position we’re in, 20th in League One, and the experience the former Hartlepool and Bristol City manager brings to the table, the more you appreciate what a good appointment, chairman, Andrew Fitton has made.

Wilson is a proven manager at this level and his appointment will have been more cost effective than poaching someone already employed. He’s determined, he knows what he wants and how to get it.

Wilson: Swindon's man, hopefully with a plan

Before Wilson’s gift-wrapped arrival, Swindon were linked with so many names it read like the Yellow Pages.

Fitton himself would admit his procrastination as negotiations went into a fourth, fifth and sixth week didn’t help our on-field form, but had we not done so we would never have landed Wilson, who was surprisingly released by Hartlepool despite a four-game unbeaten run.

The harmony that greeted Wilson’s arrival highlights the respect Town fans have for him, but is surprising given how every other name involved seemingly polarised opinion.

Richard Money? Good record at Walsall said some, not exciting enough argued others. Colin Calderwood? Legend, but with a poor Championship record. Gary Speed? Follows a tradition of players turned managers at SN1, but no experience. I could go on; it seems there’s no pleasing some people.

Or maybe not. We’ve all watched Wilson take 32 points at our expense in the last 20 games he’s overseen opposing sides against us. He also boasts the longest unbeaten runs at both Bristol City and Hartlepool. How we’d snap your hand off for an unbeaten run of any description right now.

New year, new hope

The size of the task facing Danny boy hit him like a smack in the chops in his first day in employment. We were abysmal against Brighton & Hove Albion and their win after a thoroughly forgettable 90 minutes saw them leapfrog us in the table. And boy were they bad!

And this after Town had managed an impressive win at Leyton Orient two days earlier. Wilson had only been here five minutes but already he’d seen us at our bemusing best.

He says seeing “the best and worst” of his new side was a good thing, that it showed him exactly what needs to be done. He’s already identified the main problem, too –“It’s not rocket science, we concede too many goals” – and he assures us he’s been busy in an effort to bring more experience to the side.

Let’s hope he has more luck on the phone than the average punter on Deal or no Deal, 2009 needs to be infinitely better than 2008.

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