MATT Preston says he will take three points no matter how they come after playing a major role in helping Swindon Town grind out back-to-back victories before their enforced 12-day break from action, writes NEIL BECK.

Boss David Flitcroft’s switch to a 3-5-2 formation paid instant dividends as Town banished their home woes with a 1-0 victory over Notts County, before Preston himself grabbed what proved to be the winner at Barnet on New Year’s Day.

Preston was a free agent before he moved to the Energy Check County Ground in late September and has since become a fixture alongside skipper Olly Lancashire in defence. The duo were joined in a new-look back three by Chris Robertson in the wake of Town’s drubbing by Luton Town on Boxing Day.

“The formation does suit us but I think before that we were unfortunate in matches,” said Preston ahead of tomorrow’s home showdown with Forest Green Rovers.

“From a defender’s point of view there are subtle little changes and, especially playing on the left or right of a three, you get more of a licence to do more with the ball.”

The fact Town were able to protect slender leads in both matches gave Preston plenty of encouragement – and he believes the ability to emerge from similar situations with maximum points in the bag during the coming weeks will prove key to their promotion prospects.

“Sometimes it won’t be a pretty game,” said Preston. “We know where we are. We’re in League Two and it’s not always going to be a nice football played.

“Sometimes we’re going to have to grind out a result and sometimes they can be the best wins – when you’re solid at the back, not conceding, and seeing out a 1-0.

“We need to recognise we can do that and carry on doing it.

“As long as we have a solid base at the back we know the forwards will perform and that’s a good situation to be in.”

Such fighting spirit was typified at The Hive by the ever-present Lancashire, who took two blows to the face – buckling his teeth in the process – as Town saw out victory over the League Two strugglers.

“He’s the sort of old-school centre-back role model that younger players need, somebody who wants to stop the ball going in that much that you’re willing to get a tooth knocked out,” added Preston. “It’s definitely a big plus to have in your team.”

The 22-year-old defender was also full of praise for youngsters Kyle Knoyle and Ellis Iandolo. The pair have been the starting wing-backs in each of the last two matches, with the latter claiming a goal and an assist at Barnet.

“Both of them have done unbelievably,” said Preston. “It’s a matter of talking to them at certain times in the game – especially Ellis as he’s on my side of the pitch. He’s not that sure of the position but he listens and he is doing very well.”

On a personal level, Preston remains confident he made the right choice when he opted to move to Wiltshire after talks over a new two-year contract at Walsall broke down during the summer.

He said: “Game time was my number one priority when I came here and I’m getting that.

“The biggest thing is trying to improve and keep clean sheets. If I’m doing well then I can help others, which is a big part of it as well.”