Can Paolo Di Canio Win A Trophy With Swindon?
Putting Paolo Di Canio in charge at Swindon Town was always likely to be something of a gamble. The Italian is the walking definition of the term 'mercurial' and is always liable to end up in some form of controversy.
When he got into an on-field barney with one of his strikers, everyone sucked in their breath and waited to see if 'Crazy Paolo' was back in town. It hasn't turned out that way though and the Robins are currently on a nine-match unbeaten run.
That run has included progress to the last eight of the Johnstones Paint Trophy and a stunning 4-1 dismissal of Huddersfield Town in the FA Cup. Di Canio as a player raised his game for the big clashes and he may be inspiring the same from his Swindon players.
The last eight draw in the Trophy sends them away to Southend, who are riding high in League Two, but beating a strong Huddersfield team should convince the Robins' players that they can get a result against a side from their own division.
The showman in Di Canio would love to lead a team out at Wembley, so he'll have his troops fired up for this one. More importantly, he does have his team playing with confidence even if he is a novice when it comes to setting up his team tactically.
Charlton are no longer in this competition so the new boss will be able to point out that there are no teams stronger than Huddersfield left in the last eight.
Preston NE 3/1
Prices from Bet 365
Ties played w/c 5th December