Mum is the ticket for play-off bhoy McGovern


Superstitious Jon-Paul McGovern is hoping that his mum can help Swindon book a place in the League One play-off final.

McGovern is the most experienced of the Celtic connection at Swindon who take a 2-1 lead to The Valley tonight against Christian Dailly inspired Charlton.

The 29-year-old midfielder has enjoyed a good career in the lower divisions at both Sheffield sides and MK Dons and is looking for a Championship return with Danny Wilson’s side.

Simon Ferry and Scott Cuthbert will be in the Swindon side tonight but it’s the appearance of Mum McGovern in the stand that could hold the key to the match.

Jon-Paul explained: “My mum was at Southampton away, Leeds away, Hartlepool away and hasn’t been to a game that we’ve not won.

“I’m not sure if she would be happy to be called a lucky mascot, but she’s certainly a lucky charm. Every game she’s been to we have won, and long may it continue.”

McGovern never made a first team appearance for Celtic but picked up a League Cup winners medal on loan at Livingston when they beat Hibs in the 2004 final.

After realising that his dream of playing for Celtic was never going to happen he headed south to carve out a career in the game which has had plenty of highlights including scoring in the 2005 play-off final that took Sheffield Wednesday back to the Championship.

Despite winning home and away against Leeds United Swindon failed to gain automatic promotion but McGovern is hoping that his experience can help his younger team-mates to promotion.

He added: “I’ve played in two play-off scenarios so far, and managed to win one and lose one.

“It’s going to help. I’ve experienced it, seen the profile, spoke to the media and all the things that come with it.

“Youthful exuberance is great and you look forward to things, but as an older head you can look back and draw on your experiences instead, and pass that on to the rest of the team.

“In terms of the season and in terms of playing for Swindon, this is as good as it gets at this level.

“We need to get to the next level now and see how far we can take Swindon as a club.

“We can out-play and mix it with the best, and we have shown that over the course of the season. We have proved that we are good enough to be up there. Now it’s time to go to work.”

As well as the Celtic contingent Swindon boss Danny Wilson can also call upon former Kilmarnock defender Gordon Greer and ex-Dundee United midfielder Craig Easton.

Despite holding the lead from Friday’s home win over Charlton Wilson has vowed to attack in tonight’s second leg.

“We’re going there very positive,” the Swindon boss said. “We’re not just going there to sit on our hands and hopefully get a result. We have to be as positive as we were on Friday.

“We’ve been away from home this year and scored some very good goals to win games. We’re going to have to do that again at Charlton.

“This game is up in the air completely at the moment and what we will be looking for is the same approach that we had on Friday night.

“We’ve got a slight advantage at the moment. It’s not a great one, but it’s better have than being 2-1 down.”

“Winning 3-1 possibly might have given us a little bit of complacency, we might have gone into tonight’s game thinking that the tie is over.

“So 2-1 might just do us a favour. It might just keep us on our toes, it might just keep us focused.”

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