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SWINDON TOWN: Road trips prove an education for Byrne
PLAYING at unfamiliar grounds up and down the country is proving a vital part of the young Swindon Town players’ development according to Nathan Byrne.
While the County Ground pitch is in pristine condition week in week out thanks to the hard work of groundsman Marcus Cassidy and his team, as winter draws in some of the surfaces Town have to ply their trade on away from Wiltshire will not be so conducive to the Robins’ slick passing style.
For many of the players who arrived at the club during the summer the 2013/14 season is their first taste of regular football, while the likes of Byrne have enjoyed brief loan spells in the Football League, but the versatile former Tottenham man believes trips like today’s visit to Oldham is helping them improve.
“Away games mean you have to be more on your game because when you play at home you know the pitch and you know the fans are behind you, and when you are away you have to be more focused because you don’t have all that,” he said.
“It’s down to the players to get it right but for me I don’t really mind playing home or away.
“The lads who have come from reserve football might not be used to tough away games but in pre-season with Tottenham we went to local teams like Kingstonian and other places so we know what we are in for.
“Often the pitches aren’t the same as academy pitches, which can be like carpets, but you have to learn to adapt.
“Some of us have been on loan and some haven’t, but the manager wouldn’t send players out if they didn’t think they are ready for it.
“You won’t get a good pitch every week, and the way we play means you maybe have to be extra focussed on passing and controlling the ball when the pitch isn’t great, but we know that.
“Over the Christmas period we know it’s going to get a little bit harder to play the way we’ve been playing but we will work on it.”
n TOWN’S Nicky Ajose has been shortlisted for the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy’s Ultimate Finish award for round two of the competition.
Ajose sent a glorious strike into the top-right corner against Plymouth that gave Swindon a 2-1 win in front of the County Ground faithful.
Supporters can vote for their favourite goal at www.johnstonespainttrophy.com.
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