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McCormack tips Swindon to climb the table
EX-SWINDON captain Alan McCormack expects his old club to continue to climb the League One table as he prepares to go face-to-face with his former team on Boxing Day.
The Irishman left the County Ground in the summer following the Robins play-off semi-final exit at the hands of his new club Brentford and has since become a mainstay of a Bees side which currently sits third in the table.
McCormack has been impressed with what he’s seen of Mark Cooper’s new-look Town side, having watched them live on a few occasions, and believes both his new and old clubs will be in the promotion race at the end of the season.
“It’s a completely new side at Swindon near enough, although Wardy (Darren Ward), Wes (Foderingham), Jay (McEveley), Nathan (Thompson) and Miles (Storey) are still around, but probably less than 10 of the 20 or 25 we had,” McCormack told the Advertiser.
“There’s a lot of new faces but you get that a lot in football when new owners and new managers want to get their own players in.
“They seem to be playing well, I’ve gone to watch them a couple of times this season, and I was impressed with what I’ve seen.
“They pass the ball really well and do things in the right manner and that’s only going to send them high up the league.
“It’s great to see they are still looking to play football because that’s what we tried to do when I was there.
“It’s a massive game for both teams because there are eight or 10 teams fighting away at the top looking for places.
“We could go top if we win but then we could drop a few places if we don’t win.
“We’re only just over halfway now and there’s still plenty of games to play so you have to take one game at a time.
“The real pressure comes in the final 10 games when it’s all decided so you have to get yourself in the right position.”
Thursday’s game is Swindon’s first return to Griffin Park since that ill-fated day in May but McCormack doesn’t expect Town’s play-off heartbreak to play any part in Thursday’s match.
“Every player who played last year won’t have happy memories of the place but that’s going to happen in football, you have bad weeks and months,” he said.
“Players who play for another 10 or 12 years are going to have bad days but you have to build on everything you do well because mistakes happen.
“You need to learn and that’s the great thing about football.
“I’m sure Nathan, Miles and Wes, all of the players who played last year, will not be too bothered by it because it’s been a long time since it all happened.
“We aren’t looking at anything below second place now because Brentford had the play-off final heartbreak last year while I had it myself in the semi-final and that’s not something you want to go through.
Getting beat in the semis is something you can maybe take with a pinch of salt but to lose in the final at Wembley is really hard.
“They remember it in the right way and try to use it to help us achieve everything we want to achieve and our goal is the top two.”
McCormack has settled quickly following his move to Brentford and if enjoying his football in West London despite the recent departure of former boss Uwe Rosler to Wigan.
“I’m really enjoying it because it’s a good place to be and a good club,” he said.
“The set-up is beyond belief at times with the amount of staff who look after you and the way they make sure we have the best facilities and equipment is amazing.
“Sometimes I think we have a Premier League set-up when it comes to facilities, staff, food and training pitches. Everything’s on site too which is great.
“We knew Mark from when he was sporting director and he was always around with the old manager and spoke to the lads in the morning so it’s been easy.
“Nothing really changed from when the old manager left, which is what the chairman wanted, and we still do the same things in training like working a lot on shape so the quality is the same if not better.
“We got a great result at the weekend because Preston is a hard place to go and not many teams will go there and do what we did.
“We score goals at the right times and defended very well so all-round it was a great day for us.”
Just like his two years at Swindon, McCormack has also found himself playing in a wide variety of positions.
“It’s been a bit similar to when I was at Swindon to be honest because I started in the middle of midfield and was enjoying that before I moved to left mid.
“Now I’m at right back and played the last 10 games or so there,” he said.
“I’m really enjoying it because we have a great group of lads who have been playing well and unfortunately Shaleum Logan has missed out and I’ve been asked to step in there and done quite well.
“I’m just trying to keep a place until he’s ready to come back.”
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