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Di Canio ready for Town's acid test
PAOLO Di Canio believes tonight’s friendly with Crystal Palace will be the first opportunity to see how far Swindon Town have progressed since last season.
The game at the County Ground is by far the sternest test the Town squad will have faced this summer, with victories over the likes of Forest Green, Swindon Supermarine and Salisbury not giving away too many clues as to how ready they are to take on League One.
But that is all set to change tonight against Championship opposition, and Di Canio is expecting to learn a lot when his side take on the likes of Wilfried Zaha, Joel Ward and Dean Moxey.
“It is obvious every friendly game is an opportunity to see the improvement from the players, especially for the new players,” he said.
“But every game is different and this is the most important one because it is the last one before the start of the season and because we play our first game at the County Ground.
“It is a good opportunity for us to see what position we reach at the moment in terms of quality and discipline.
“I am curious to see my players in this game.”
Di Canio and his backroom staff have stepped up their preparations for the clash, and, unlike other games during pre-season, they have studied DVDs in a bid to treat the match like it was a competitive game.
“We have watched the clips, and it is obvious we are not sure if they play with the main players for the whole game,” he said.
“We have all the information about them if they make some surprising changes, and from today we start with the habits we had last year like watching the players and how to damage them, and also how to be in possession.
“I am sure there is not any doubt that my players will play completely different, because if my players underestimate this team they underestimate the occasion and they are going to make me pack my bag and leave this club, in a fun way of course,” he said.
“I am sure we are going to perform well because this is a good game to prepare, because the new players will be playing in front of new fans for the first time.
“We play Crystal Palace who are a league above of us, and we are going to perform well at our best.”