Swindon Town Head Coach Luke Williams was a relieved man after seeing his confidence-sapped side escape with a point against Fleetwood Town on Saturday.
The Robins have been dealing with the aftermath of a disastrous Easter weekend where they shipped in ten goals in just two games, including a humiliating 6-0 defeat to Scunthorpe United last Monday.
Town still looked in a state of shock when they took to the pitch against Fleetwood yesterday, giving up two early chances before on-loan Bristol City striker Wes Burns nudged the visitors ahead with six minutes played.
Steven Pressley’s side went on to dominate the rest of the first-half and should have added to their lead on numerous occasions, but both Burns and Bobby Grant were thwarted by Tyrell Belford in the home goal.
However, and to their credit, the hosts upped the tempo after the interval and began to heap the pressure on the Fleetwood goal with Michael Doughty pulling the strings from midfield.
And Town got their just rewards past the hour mark after Nicky Ajose turned home Doughty’s neat cross, the striker’s 23rd goal of the season coming moments after the visitors had rattled the woodwork on no less than four occasions.
Louis Thompson then thumped a rasping drive against the crossbar as Swindon looked to finish with a flourish, but it was their guests who emerged as the most dangerous outfit in the game’s closing stages.
A horrendous mistake by Jamie Sendles-White allowed second-half sub David Henen a clean shot on goal, only for the forward to be denied by yet another superb Belford save.
Devante Cole was then thrown on by Fleetwood but he spurned two clear-cut opportunities to snatch all three points for his side, leaving Williams to breathe a huge sigh of relief that his charges managed to hold on and stop the rot.
“It is a huge relief because every season there are teams that suffer with this type of feeling that they can’t compete and get a point anywhere,” he told the local media in the wake of the game.
“You see that in every division across the world, so it is great to put a stop to that and get a point.
“I think I probably need about three weeks to get my head around this one.
“The most likely reason why we saw this type of game is we have hurt ourselves, we have left a scar with the two performances that preceded this game.
“You saw a team that were edgy, lacking confidence and full of fear and it is a lesson for the players that confidence takes a long time to build and it takes a moment to lose.
“I’m very concerned (with the amount of chances Fleetwood carved out) because it looked like you could play through a team like we were mannequins.
“When you feel stressed, when you feel nervous and when you feel anxious you don’t think as clearly, your body doesn’t work as well as you want it to and you feel fatigued and you feel tired.
“That’s probably a hangover from what we’ve done to ourselves – we’ve got no one else to blame.
“Myself and the players have got ourselves to blame for that.”
Town had two appeals for a penalty turned down on Saturday, including an incident in the second-half where Brandon Ormonde-Ottewill was quite clearly hauled down inside the area by Fleetwood stopper Chris Maxwell.
“It is difficult to see from where I’m standing so we have to trust the officials, they are a lot closer to the action than we are,” Williams added.
“We obviously do look back at these incidents on the video afterwards and sometimes you can see quite clearly that you should have been awarded (a spot-kick).
“Over the course of the season you probably get away with as many as you don’t get given in your favour, so it probably evens itself up.
“It looked very clear from where I was but if the referee is considerably closer than me then I have to trust him that he’s seen something differently.
“But it looked very clear that he (Ormonde-Ottewill) was impeded and was stopped from getting on the end of the ball.”