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THE RESULT: McEveley happy with comeback
JAY McEveley emerged through his first start of the season unscathed and promptly told the local press that he is enjoying playing in the new system in place at Swindon Town.
The defender has struggled with a knee injury for more than eight months but featured at left-back in the 2-2 draw with Gillingham on Saturday.
As one of the few remaining members of Paolo Di Canio’s squad for the first half of last term, the current regime is a strict contrast for McEveley – with a focus on ball retention and playing out from the back. But the former Blackburn man is buying into it.
“I was pleased to get back in the team. I’ve worked hard to get myself right. I’ve played in two development games which have stood me in good stead and I felt good out there, to be fair,” he said.
“I was just disappointed with the result because I felt we were on top for 90 minutes and they scored with basically a big punt downfield, which is a big disappointment.
“Since Coops has come in I’ve spoken to him and I like his ideas and what he’s trying to do, and it’s refreshing really.
“It’s a joy to play in a team that’s keeping the ball and you can see they were on their last legs at the end and we’re still popping away. It’s easier to play with the ball than without it so it’s still work in progress.
“It’s only the fourth game of the season and we’ve dominated for 90 minutes. We need to tweak some things and I’m sure we’ll be alright.”
As one of the most senior members of the Town set-up, McEveley has taken on a responsibility to help coax the club’s younger element through their induction into life in the Football League.
“I’ve got a responsibility now. There’s only me, Wardy (Darren Ward), Ryan Harley and Wes (Foderingham) to a certain degree who have got to be the voices out there and help people through the game and make sure the lads are switched on for 90 minutes,” he said.
“It’s different going from youth team and reserve team football to playing in the league. I know some of our lads have done it before but a full season at first-team level is tough at times. Hopefully when we’re needed we’ll be there to help them along.
“As a young player you might get caught up in the game, you might make a good pass and watch it rather than looking to see where you need to be. That comes with experience but we’re there behind them or alongside them to make sure they’re in the right position.”
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