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SWINDON TOWN: Fighting fit McEveley hails tough pre-season tour
JAY McEveley has admitted manager Paolo Di Canio was right to play the hard taskmaster role during Swindon Town’s tour of Italy, saying he is reaping the rewards of the work the Robins did on the banks of Lake Garda.
Intense running drills in sweltering heat were the order of the day for much of Town’s time in Di Canio’s home country, and the players were made to suffer as they geared up of the 2012/13 league campaign.
However, with the new season just three weeks away, McEveley is happy with his fitness levels and he credited Di Canio’s programme for its role in his personal progress.
“I’m just starting to feel better now,” he said.
“The manager kept saying to us in Italy ‘I know you’re tired mentally, I know you’re tired physically but you will feel better for it - trust me’.
“You can feel it now, it (training) is starting to become a little bit shorter and sharper now, you feel better in your legs.
“I felt good against Weston-super-Mare - a lot better than I did in the previous two games legs-wise.
“Hopefully I can feel a bit better against Forest Green and work up towards 90 minutes for the season.”
The clash with Blue Square Bet Premier outfit Forest Green is the second of Town’s five pre-season friendlies on home soil.
After seeing off Weston-super-Mare 6-1 last week, it appears as though Swindon are starting to find a groove as they prepare themselves for the resumption of competitive action next month.
However, McEveley said tactics are not of paramount importance just yet.
“You just have to treat it as a fitness exercise.
“We say to ourselves ‘let’s make sure we get something out of this game’,” he said.
“We put the work in, make sure what the manager wants us to do we put into action, even if sometimes it’s a bit rusty here and there technically because it’s not quite the end of pre-season. Things can slide, you just have to make sure you’re trying the right kinds of things.
“If a pass doesn’t come off it’s not a problem we just have to try to put everything the manager wants us to do into the game. He’s happy we’re doing that and we’re working hard.”
Off the field, the former Blackburn and Barnsley full-back is still in temporary accommodation as he continues to house-hunt in the Swindon area.
McEveley has been joined in his hotel by fellow Scousers Alan Navarro and Gary Roberts and, while he is more than happy to spend time with the pair, he stressed that living out of a suitcase is fast becoming something of a bore.
“We have been training quite hard so basically we’ve been at the training ground with the other lads most of the time but when we do get a bit of downtime in the hotel we’ve just been relaxing and sitting in the hotel having a coffee together or going out for some food,” he said.
“Hopefully when we’re settled into our houses it will be a bit more relaxed rather than having to go back to a hotel and living out of my suitcase a bit.
“It’s hard work and it’s a bit draining but once I’m settled and I’ve got Sky TV, I’ll be alright.”
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