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SWINDON TOWN: Ward tips Flint for the big time
DARREN Ward has tipped Aden Flint for the big time after being impressed by his defensive partner during his first month at the County Ground.
Ward, who arrived on loan from Millwall at the end of August, played alongside Flint for the first time in the 1-0 win at Bury on Saturday but, both in training and in match action, the experienced centre-back has seen enough of the former Alfreton captain to suggest he could go on to play at a higher level.
The 34-year-old said: “He’s a great lad Aden, he’s got a lot of potential and I like him as a player, I really do.
“He’s a good lad, still willing to learn and he’s very enthusiastic but you look at him and think ‘wow that guy’s a monster’.
“If he can get a few more bits into his game and keep playing as well as I have seen, he’s got a very bright future.”
Ward is keen to impart some of the knowledge he has gathered over 17 years in the professional game onto Flint.
“I hope so, that’s partly why I’m here,” he said. “I’m here to help the team and help us improve. It’s important that I influence players in ways I’ve learnt over the years.
“I’m hoping that I can help him but likewise that he can help me. I’m still learning myself and you learn until the day I hang my boots up.”
The scrappy victory at Gigg Lane bore a striking resemblance to Town’s 1-0 win at Shrewsbury seven days previously.
And Ward stressed that Swindon have to keep digging results out on the road if they are to achieve their goals and challenge for promotion from League One this season.
“The last two away wins have been quite tough games but three points from both have been very impressive from our point of view,” he said.
“It maybe hasn’t been the best football from our side, and there are certainly things to improve on, but ultimately points are the most important thing and that’s what we’ve come away with.
“(The early goal) was very important mentally, especially with us being in our position near the top and them near the bottom, and it makes a huge impact on the game.
“Although they huffed and puffed we had a lot of chances and should have really had the second and the third would possibly have come.
“We had to defend. If we’re going to be challenging, if we’re going to be near the top end then we have to deal with these games. They’re very hard, people come here and are going to have a hard game.
“It’s our job, we have to keep clean sheets. We’ve kept a few now and it’s important. We work extremely hard during the week, I can’t explain how hard we work and we have to come together to get three points and it’s very impressive from our point of view.
“We’re there but we are literally dealing game by game. We’d be foolish to start talking about top spot and promotion. We’re dealing game by game, that’s what we’ve been doing and that’s all we should be doing.”