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SWINDON TOWN: Barthram hopes to seize first-team chance
JACK Barthram is ready to make the step up to regular first-team action with Swindon Town after a bruising league debut at Preston last weekend.
Barthram, a summer signing from Tottenham, came off the bench for the injured Nathan Thompson before half-time at Deepdale and with Thompson still carrying an ankle knock going into this Saturday’s visit of Tranmere Rovers to the County Ground, the teenager could be asked to fill in on the right of defence tomorrow.
Having finally experienced the rigours of League One football, Barthram is eager to prove his worth to manager Mark Cooper.
“Obviously it’s an opportunity for me because hopefully I’ll get the chance to play but it’s not great for the club,” he said.
“It’s been frustrating but I knew I had to bide my time. I knew I wasn’t going to come here and go straight into the starting XI.
“I’ve enjoyed myself under the new gaffer and Luke and I’ve learnt a lot of stuff.
“Every week I prepare like I’m going to play. You’ve got to stay calm, do your normal thing and don’t get over-excited.
“(Last weekend) was different. Preston pressed us very high all over the pitch, they were very physical which caused a couple more injuries. It was definitely different but it’s something you’ve got to get used to in this league.
“I think the ref should have picked up on a few late challenges, which he didn’t. I think there was definitely one red card on Saturday for one of the challenges but he didn’t see it.”
Barthram had only played age-group football prior to his move to Swindon, and highlighted the vast differences between that and life in the Football League.
“In the league it’s about three points whereas in under 21 football it’s mainly about developing,” he said.
“Everything is on the line in the league.
“Teams have targeted us, and in the last couple of games especially, but we have to deal with that. We can’t expect to play and win every week. Teams are going to bring different things and we’ve got to make sure we’re ready for that.”
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