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Byrne hails strength in depth
THE arrival of four new signings in recent weeks might have made it tougher for Nathan Byrne to force his way into the Swindon Town starting line-up but the full-back feels the Robins are now in a strong position to reach the League One play-offs.
Since the turn of the year, Town manager Mark Cooper has recruited Michael Smith, George Barker, Jamie Reckord and Jacob Murphy to his squad, as he seeks to mastermind a late run into the top six, meaning Byrne and the rest of his Robins teammates now have even greater competition for their spot in the first XI.
However, the former Tottenham man stressed that the introduction of the quartet can only mean good things for Swindon in the long run, particularly when the stresses and strains of a long season start to take their toll.
“The manager has brought in loanees and signed boys and the squad is a lot stronger than it was at the start of the season,” Byrne told the Advertiser.
“It’s great having competition for places and it’s good to know that the boys can be changed if they’re tired or have been playing a lot of games.
“Everyone does get tired so it’s good to know we’ve got a strong squad to push on and hopefully get into the play-offs.”
Byrne got his first look at latest acquisition Murphy when the teenager winger came on to play in front of him in the final half-hour of Town’s 3-2 victory at Port Vale on Saturday.
He was impressed by the Norwich City youngster’s impact on proceedings and thinks Murphy could prove to be a shrewd addition to the Robins’ squad.
“There were two different groups in training so I didn’t see anything of him before but he looked really sharp, quick and a good asset for our squad,” he said.
“That would probably be the only place we haven’t got – out and out wingers. I’m looking forward to seeing more of him.”