IT WAS always a matter of when rather than if Jay McEveley would sign a permanent deal with Swindon Town as soon as he found out manager Paolo Di Canio was staying at the club.

The defender spent the back end of last season at the County Ground as Town won the League Two title, and despite interest from elsewhere, he was always keen on a return after he was released by Barnsley.

McEveley enjoyed his time under Di Canio, and as soon as the Italian signed his new contract at Swindon he was determined to be part of the club’s assault on League One.

“Things were happening and the gaffer was sorting his situation out, and I just took a back seat and tried to enjoy my summer a little bit,” he said.”

“I spoke to a few clubs, but I enjoyed it down here and enjoyed playing for the manager, and when he sorted his situation out I wanted to be part of what he was doing.

“He is not going up into League One to just be any other team, he is going in there to do something and I want to be a part of that.”

“There were a couple of interested clubs in the Championship but nothing concrete, but as soon as this came around I was all ears towards this.

“It proves it is a club on the up, and it is almost like you get on a train and keep going with it.”

McEveley was one of a number of players dropped by Di Canio following a night out after Town’s 1-0 victory over Plymouth in April, but the 27-year-old believes the fact he was offered a permanent deal shows the manager thinks highly of him.

“It was a mistake but these things happen, but he knows me now and he knows what I am like,” he said.

“He knows he can trust me and he has brought me down here permanently, and I don’t think he would have done that if he had any doubts about me.

“I feel like he can get the best out of me, I know how he wants to play and I know what he is all about. In the end it was an easy decision.”