TYRELL Belford has thanked his manager for showing faith in his ability after Swindon Town’s second string goalkeeper made his Football League debut at Leyton Orient on Saturday.
Belford stepped in as a late replacement for Wes Foderingham, who withdrew from the warm-up at Brisbane Road citing pain in his hip and groin, and produced several good saves as Town were beaten 2-0 by the League One leaders.
The former Liverpool stopper has previously started between the sticks in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and the FA Cup, and after the game he expressed his gratitude to Swindon boss Mark Cooper for sticking by him.
He said: “When I first came here I didn’t expect to play but the gaffer has shown faith in me.
“I think when you have a couple of injuries it’s easy to go in the emergency loan window and panic but he’s put faith in me and hopefully I’ll repay it.
“I can only learn from the game situations.
“You can train for it every day but it’s different.
“Hopefully I can get more gametime this season.
“I came in the warm-up and Wes wasn’t feeling right and the gaffer asked me if I was ready to play, and I was happy to step in.
“I prepare for every game as if I’m going to play and if I’m called upon I’m ready to play. I prepare every day in training for match situations so I am ready when called upon.”
Belford branded Town’s performance at Orient as “sloppy”, as the Robins conceded two penalties, both of which were converted by Lloyd James.
“We were very sloppy. I don’t think we really got going until 70 minutes.
“In the last 20 minutes we started to play our way but we were very sloppy today,” he said.
“We went diving in and they were silly mistakes but we’ve got to learn from that.
“We’re still a young team and that’s how we progress.
“We’ve got to learn from our mistakes and take that into the next game.
“The gaffer’s getting it into us every day about getting it out from the back and that’s the way we want to play.
“We do it every day in training so it’s not difficult for us but it took until 70 minutes to put anything in place.
“Once we did it we looked good. I think they were sloppy towards the end of the game, it looked like they tired a bit but there was no end product to it.
“We wanted to challenge them.
“They’re challenging for the title and we want to get into the play-offs at the end of the season.
“I really don’t think we tested them today.”