JAY McEveley might have been frustrated at having to sit out four Swindon Town matches through suspension but the full-back has revealed that his three-week lay-off has flown by.

McEveley was banned following his dismissal in the first leg of Town’s Johnstone’s Paint Trophy area final tie against Peterborough United on February 5 after colliding with Posh striker Britt Assombalonga.

He has since missed the 3-2 win at Port Vale, the stalemate against Colchester, last week’s penalty shoot-out heartbreak to Peterborough and the weekend defeat at Leyton Orient but returns to the Swindon squad for the visit of Crawley Town this evening.

“It’s gone quickly, actually, with the games coming thick and fast,” he said. “It’s been frustrating, not being able to get out there and help the lads but I’m glad it’s gone quick and I’m back available now.”

McEveley said he could understand why he had been shown his marching orders at London Road.

“My eyes were on the ball. I was on the other side of the pitch, I’d just taken a free-kick, the keeper’s got it and threw it out and I’m just running, looking at the ball. I didn’t see him there and just went for the ball,” he said.

“The way the game is now it probably is a sending-off, but it’s not if you know what I mean. You just can’t do anything now days. I’ve learnt my lesson, I’ll go in with my head next time and get six stitches instead.”

McEveley still believes Town can reach the play-offs, despite sitting seven points behind Peterborough, who currently occupy sixth place in the table.

“We haven’t given up at all. We’ve got 14 games left and we’ve got to give everything,” he said. “We can beat anyone, we can go on a run and if we do that we can get in the play-offs.

“It’s not like we’re sitting in 14th or 15th position and it’s a long shot to get in the play-offs. We’re there, we just need a little run together.”