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SWINDON TOWN: Roberts in Christmas tree plea
GARY Roberts would relish a return to a 4-3-2-1 formation, as the Christmas-tree shape indulges his more selfish side.
Swindon Town manager Paolo Di Canio employed the unusual system for the last half-hour of the 2-2 draw with Coventry two weeks ago, inspiring the Robins to overhaul a two-goal deficit and steal a point.
Roberts was used just behind the lone striker, James Collins, in that formation and he told the Advertiser that he thoroughly enjoyed the experience.
That particular system was untried prior to the clash with the Sky Blues but Roberts revealed that Town have practiced it in training since, and he would welcome the opportunity to immerse himself in the role once again.
“You get the ball more in that position. You’re the focal point of the team because people want to get the ball to you when you’re in that position,” he said.
“I enjoyed it. We haven’t played it since but I did really enjoy it.
“I think it was a heat of the moment thing at the time but we’ve worked on it a couple of times since, coming off the line and stuff.
“We haven’t played it again since but maybe we’ll play it again in the future and if we do I’ll be more than happy because I’m a little bit selfish but you get on the ball there more and it’s a good position to play.”
Meanwhile, Roberts has credited a Scouse bond for the impressive partnership he is starting to form with Jay McEveley down the left flank.
The two, who both originate from the Merseyside area, dominated the Crewe defence in the second half on Tuesday night without being able to find the killer touch in front of goal.
Roberts said the pair’s shared geography has helped them link up quickly and effectively.
“I think I’ve got more of an understanding with Jay, probably because he can understand me and I can understand him. We’re from the same area,” he said.
“From day one in pre-season I’ve worked with Jay behind me so I think that’s helped but he’s good to play in front of.
“He speaks to you and gives you the ball. We have our arguments now and again but he’s good to play with.
“We pushed on, that’s why it was disappointing we didn’t do it more in the first half (at Crewe). We created a few chances from that side which is our job, that’s expected from us.
“We should have done more in the first half, we should have pushed on and it was disappointing at half-time.”