Swindon Town’s captain fantastic Nathan Thompson is relishing the chance to prove the doubters wrong once more when he leads his side out at Wembley in the League One Play-Off Final on Sunday.
Thompson – who is Town’s biggest injury doubt for tomorrow after sustaining a slight tear in his hamstring last week – has been the focal point of a side that has been written off all season.
Tipped for a long battle against relegation back in the summer, the Robins took the division by surprise as they maintained their place inside the top six for the majority of the season.
Ahead of tomorrow’s showdown with Preston North End (5.30pm kick-off), Town are considered underdogs once more as they bid to finish the job off and clinch promotion to the Championship.
But, the tag of underdog is one that suits Thompson and his team-mates down to the ground, and it’s one that they will be thriving on come kick-off time at the home of English football.
“It will be a massive occasion for me personally and for everyone at the club – it’s one that we’re all extremely looking forward to,” Thompson told FLIC SPORT.
“It doesn’t surprise me at all (that Town reached Wembley) because I knew what the lads were capable of and it’s a very, very talented group of boys, it was just making sure that we all clicked.
“You’ve seen in some games that we’ve been unstoppable, there have been other games we’ve been disappointed with but, as a whole, its been a fantastic season and I’m extremely proud to lead this team out.
“It’s a great group of boys that I know will go on to other clubs eventually and to teams probably in the Premier League, because that’s what they are capable of.
“We have been written off throughout the year – when we were at the top of the league teams didn’t ever think we would stay there, they didn’t ever think we would stay in the play-offs, so it’s a nice feeling that we’ve been able to prove teams wrong as underdogs.
“I know that come Sunday we’ll go into the game as underdogs again, but I’m more than confident that we’ll prove people wrong again.”
Meanwhile, Thompson told FLIC SPORT that Town were so confident of reaching Wembley that they had not even considered the possibility of there being no training the next day had they failed to see off Sheffield United in the semi-finals.
“I remember being sat on the bench during the Sheffield United game and saying to Luke (Williams, Town’s First-Team Coach), ‘if we don’t actually qualify I haven’t even contemplated not having training (the next day),'” added the 24-year-old.
“We were so confident that we were going to continue on this run and reach the final that none of the players had contemplated not being around anymore, that’s the same going into this game.
“Everything feels as though what’s going to happen when we win?
“That positive vibe is amongst everybody at this moment in time.
“It just feels a good atmosphere and I’m quite a superstitious person – we’re in a different end this year compared to the last two times, there are good vibes and I’m confident.”