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Forest Green v Swindon Town: Horseman on psychological tick, Swindon and Callum Jones injury

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Despite a first away league victory in over a year, David Horseman is looking for further improvements from his Forest Green side when they host Swindon Town in League Two tonight, Tuesday.

Rovers beat Harrogate 1-0 on Saturday, returning striker Matty Stevens netting the game’s only goal to earn a first away win 378 days on from the opening day of the 2022/23 season against Bristol Rovers.

“That is a long time (without an away win) and what we are trying to do is live in the present, not the past if we can. However, there was six (players) that have probably been through that. So, I think it is a psychological tick.

“That is not to say we are going to win every week and we have got work to do because that is not a performance that is going to win us loads of games if I am being honest.

“That is both our strikers currently fit off the mark. So, I think that is another psychological tick and in and around the box we know he (Stevens) was close in the first half, even little scraps,” said Horseman.

“How we create more chaos in the box because with people like him and when Matty Taylor is fit and with Tyrese (Omotoye), I think we will score goals, but at the moment it is just a little bit flat and predictable around the box.”

The first win under the new head coach will lift a weight off the shoulders following two defeats in a week against Salford City and Portsmouth, but the focus must now turn to regional rivals Swindon in the hope of securing back to back victories for the first time since December 2022.

Tuesday’s visitors will make the short 28 mile trip in their first away league match of the 2023/24 campaign, one in which they began with a new manager in Michael Flynn last week in a penalty defeat to Peterborough after their opening game at Colchester was postponed due to a waterlogged pitch.

Their League Two season began with a draw at home to Crewe Alexandra last weekend as the side threw away a two goal cushion.

Former Forest Green defender Udoka Godwin-Malife struck his first goal for his new club after 21 minutes, converting a diving header before ex-Forest Green striker Jake Young scored two minutes into his home debut, but Crewe snatched a point with five minutes to go thanks to Michael Williams and Rio Adebisi.

Forest Green and Swindon have met just 12 times in their history with the first league fixture coming in Forest Green’s debut League Two season in 2017. Swindon have won the last three meetings between the two, including the double in the 2021/22 season.

Forest Green will be without midfielder Callum Jones for Tuesday’s encounter after he picked up an injury against Harrogate before being seen on crutches.

“Unfortunately, Cal has suffered a significant injury,” said Horseman.

“He’s got a hairline fracture in his leg after landing awkwardly. It was a bit of a freak one under no contact. He’s a super player, but he’s also a brilliant character, so it’s a blow.”

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