League Two side Swindon Town have appointed a new manager, as a successor to Phil Brown, who was sacked on Sunday night. They have opted for former Oldham Athletic manager Richie Wellens, who has been given a contract at the County Ground until May 2020. He will be assisted by Noel Hunt, who had been playing in Ireland as Waterford's player-coach.
Wellens' appointment appears to be a preplanned one from Swindon, with both his name and Hunt's appearing on the rumourmill on the morning after Brown's removal. His one and only experience of first team management ended in relegation, with the 38 year old being in charge of Oldham for the majority of the 2017-18 season, taking over from John Sheridan at the tail end of September 2017. His time at Boundary Park saw him win 14 of his 43 games in charge, with 16 draws on top of that, which would have given Oldham a chance of avoiding the drop. But having taken over with the club at the foot of the table, he couldn't avoid relegation and was sacked at the end of last season.
The new boss has stated that he wants to play quick passing football, but was not able to do that at Oldham, after the quality of the pitch at Boundary Park deteriorated during his time there. He believes that Swindon Town - who are currently in 17th place in the League Two table - are underachieving:
"For me, it's a great opportunity to manage a football club that is well-run, has a good infrastructure, and a tradition, over the last six or seven years, of playing a style that I want to play. I want to get the ball down, play positive, quick, passing football and bring results and success to this football club, because at this moment it is underachieving. For me, that style of play is the most important thing, exciting the fans. I had my first job at Oldham, which was going fantastically well, but the pitch deteriorated very badly and I had to change the way I played. I didn't want to do that – I won’t have that problem here because the pitch is in fantastic condition."
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