THE heavyweight presence of Cambridge’s Jabo Ibehre and Uche Ikpeazu was more than enough to contend with, but despite that and the experience alongside him, Matt Preston had no intention of being a shrinking violet on his Swindon Town debut on Saturday.

Preston, whose conversion from free agent to Swindon player was confirmed only last Monday, found himself pitched into a debut alongside skipper Olly Lancashire and fellow wise old heads Matt Taylor and Ben Purkiss in the home back four.

The physical threat of the U’s front two promised a baptism of fire for the former Walsall man but, from the moment he rose to connect with several thunderous clearing headers out from the back, the 22 year old looked to have fitted seamlessly into that unit, delivering a performance that deservedly earned him man of the match honours.

“As a defender, a centre-back for a new club, I feel like it’s a very good performance,’’ said Preston.

“It’s exactly what you want, a clean sheet and to get man of the match is a very big thing confidence-wise for me as well. Just knowing I can do that is a big confidence thing for me.’’

The sheer imposing build of Ibehre and Ikpeazu meant they were certain to be a handful at various points during the afternoon, but while relishing the toe-to-toe nature of the scrap, Preston was also aware that brain as well as brawn was what was required.

“They are both big, strong units and you have to defend in a different sort of way against people like that,’’ added the Town man.

“You’re not going to win everything, you’ve got to realise that and you’ve got to be a bit more clever about the way you go about defending. But we did well today as a back four.

“They (Lancashire and Taylor) are both experienced, especially Matty Taylor, Everyone knows how experienced he is.

“During the game, those little bits of information he gives you, you can add it to your game. It’s the same with Olly on the other side, it’s definitely a positive.

“I knew Ben Purkiss before I came here and I knew how experienced he was. Knowing people like that, with Lancs (Olly Lancashire) and Tayls (Matt Taylor) on either side who can talk you through situations, it’s definitely a big positive with how many games they’ve played between them.’’