JAY McEveley believes Swindon Town’s young squad will come out of the 2013/14 season all the better for the experience, regardless of where they finish in League One.
The Robins’ play-off dreams have been all but extinguished by a run of seven league matches without a win and McEveley & Co now lie 10 points off the top six with nine games remaining of the campaign.
Reflecting on the term to date, however, the Scouser feels several important lessons have been learned which will stand Town in good stead for 2014/15.
“They’ve experienced everything now this season. They’ve experienced the highs of beating Crewe 5-0 here, beating Rotherham 4-0 away. They’ve experienced lows like against Wolves, having three put past you in the first half-hour,” he said.
“They’ve experienced the way the fans react – getting on your back or cheering you on – and it’s all part and parcel of it. You learn to deal with it and they’ll be so much stronger having this season under their belt going into next year.”
McEveley thinks, given two more years of the current model, Swindon will start to reap the benefits.
“The expectation levels are maybe a bit high, maybe from the way we started and the football we were playing. I people are thinking it’s just natural, we did it last week so why can’t we do it this week? It doesn’t work like that,” he said.
“If you look at the teams at the top – Brentford and Leyton Orient – they’re teams are settled, they’ve been together for years and know each other’s games. That’s why they’re where they are.
“I’m pretty sure if you gave us next year, maybe the year after, with the same squad pulling in the same direction, knowing what we’re going to do, we’ll be there.”