The Peterborough Telegraph assesses the main threats and a couple of potential weaknesses in the Swindon squad visiting the Weston Homes Stadium for a League One fixture tomorrow (October 3).
The 32 year-old striker was barely used by Portsmouth last season despite a decent scoring record throughout his career.
Pitman was doubtless less suited to Pompey’s rigid style than he is to Swindon’s fluent passing game. If the Swindon playmakers set the ball to Pitman’s feet inside the Posh area, goalkeeper Christy Pym will have to be on his toes and the shot will most likely be on target.
Pitman has 179 career goals – he scored his first for Swindon in a 4-2 win over Burton last weekend – and will fancy adding to it, although three Posh central defenders should restrict the space he would want.
More than one Posh manager has been interested in signing this dynamic attacking midfielder in the past.
Payne ripped Posh apart at London Road when on loan at Oxford from Huddersfield in the 2017-18 season, but he’s rather lost his way since.
Further loan spells at Bradford City, Blackburn and Lincoln were not roaring successes, but he’s started this season well since joining Swindon on a free transfer in the summer.
Payne is bright and takes up dangerous attacking positions. He caused Burton plenty of problems last weekend and the Posh back three, mainly Frankie Kent on the left, will have to be alert when Payne is threatening the penalty area.
Swindon believe they pulled off a transfer coup by enticing midfielder Smith to the County Ground on loan from Arsenal. The 19 year-old is thought highly enough at the Emirates to have sat on the substitutes’ bench in last season’s FA Cup Final against Chelsea.
Former Posh midfielder Anthony Grant, not a man fond of media interviews, said this week: “Matt’s a very good young player who likes to pass forward, get on the ball, and express himself. He’s a joy to play with.
“We’ve got belief in everyone’s ability, so if we can keep pushing each other and we don’t have too many injuries, hopefully we can push further up the table.”
Smith (19) scored on his League One debut against Rochdale.
Goalkeeper Matej Kovar is on loan from Manchester United and Swindon boss Richie Wellens stated recently that the Czech shot stopper ‘could go to the very top.’
“The game comes very easily to Matej,” Wellens said. “He just needs to develop his game management. We don’t want him dribbling around his area in the final stages of matches.”
Posh know Anthony Grant well. He was a decent midfielder under Grant McCann’s management, but Steve Evans was quick to get rid as he liked the ball to be moved forward more quickly.
That’s not necessarily a criticism, but it could…