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SWINDON TOWN: Thompson keen to avoid complacency
NATHAN Thompson may be enjoying his most prolific run in a Swindon Town shirt but the defender’s long apprenticeship with the Robins means he will never get complacent about his place in the starting line-up.
Thompson graduated from the Swindon youth system in 2009, making him the club’s current longest-serving player, but of his 28 appearances for the Robins 17 have come this season after manager Paolo Di Canio turned to the 21-year-old to fill the void left by Paul Caddis’ loan move to Birmingham.
He is quickly becoming a fixture in the Town team as he blends wholehearted tackling with a willingness to get forward and support Matt Ritchie in front of him but, while at the moment he appears to own the right-back slot by right, Thompson’s experiences during his time at the County Ground will always keep him on his toes.
“With the amount of time I’ve been looking on from the sidelines in the past, I’ll never be comfortable thinking that my position is my own,” he said. “I’ll continue doing what I’ve been doing and hopefully keep on putting in performances that will warrant a first-team place.
“It just makes you want that position more, the trials and tribulations at the club - the ups and downs, like being so close to the Championship and then being relegated the next season. You understand it and it probably makes you want it even more.
“It gives you that bit between your teeth and to go out and get us promoted without even going through the play-offs probably means even more to me.
“This is the first season I’ve had a real run of games so to look at it as though I’m the longest serving player is strange, but it’s good. I know what’s gone on before and how it hurts to be relegated and how nice it feels to be up near the top fighting for promotion.”
By his own admission, there remain aspects of his game where Thompson can improve, but generally he is feeling comfortable in his role at the back.
“It’s going well. There are times where I felt I could have done certain things better and I probably am my own biggest critic. But the performances well, the results are going well as well so I’m happy,” he said.
“I’m constantly looking to improve my getting forward, my shape, being nice and tight to the centre-back. That’s the sort of thing the gaffer works on heavily.
“You can see with the defensive record that we have this season, and it was the same last season, we give ourselves the foundation to build a victory. The gaffer’s been a great help in that sense.”
Thompson is out of contract at the end of the current campaign and no talks have yet begun regarding a possible extension to his stay in Wiltshire.
However, with the club close to being sold, he’s more than happy to wait a little longer for any negotiations to get under way.
“It’s difficult. With what’s going on contracts get put on hold, but it does not affect any of the lads in that sense,” he said. “We continue to do what we do and hopefully it will all get sorted out at the top. It’s the wrong time to discuss it at this moment in time. When that gets sorted I’m sure the lads who are out of contract will be spoken to.
“You get told what the gaffer has to say but it’s not any of our business. We get paid at the end of the month, so it doesn’t really affect us in any shape of form.”