PHIL Brown revealed influential midfielder Matt Taylor had ‘opened his eyes’ into management at Swindon Town shortly after taking charge at the Energy Check County Ground.

Brown, who last week signed a two-year extension to remain as manager, spoke highly of Taylor during his initial 10-game stint in Wiltshire which saw the former Hull City boss win twice and draw five times.

The 58-year-old revealed his retained and released list of players on Wednesday morning, with midfielder Amine Linganzi, defender Ryan McGivern, goalkeeper Stuart Moore and defenders Matt Preston and Joe Romanski among those offered new terms alongside Taylor.

Romanski’s fellow second-year scholars Sol Pryce and Jordan Edwards have agreed their first pro contracts, while one-year options were agreed with defender Kyle Knoyle, young striker Scott Twine and leading goalscorer Luke Norris.

But, unsurprisingly, player of the year Taylor was top of Brown’s list of those he wanted back for the 2018/19 season, which will see Town have a second crack of trying to earn promotion out of League Two.

Brown told the Advertiser: “Where Matt (Taylor) is concerned, I had a very close relationship with him in a short space of time.

“Honesty is a rare commodity in the game, and you get attracted to it.

“He’s brutally honest with regards to his own assessment, he’s brutally honest with the players he plays with and myself as well.

“To work with him for three months really opened my eyes with regards to everything that was going on at the football club. I got to know the club a lot quicker – and certainly a lot better – because Matt was in my room.”

Among other players retained, Brown spoke highly of right-back Knoyle, who featured regularly from December onwards under both Brown and his predecessor David Flitcroft.

Knoyle started his career at West Ham United before enjoying loan spells at Dundee United and Wigan Athletic.

His progress at the Latics was cut short, though, after dislocating and breaking his elbow.

It was last summer that Knoyle joined Swindon and his positive approach to training and games has caught the eye Brown.

“I was very impressed with Kyle Knoyle’s attitude and mentality,” said Brown.

“He has the mentality I want from a defender, where he wears the number on the back of his shirt with pride.

“If you’re number two, three, four, five or six, your first port of call is defending, then going forward.

“Knoyle fits the bill both ways. He defends one-on-ones very well, he defends his back post very well.

“But he also provided a lot of crosses and opportunities going forward.

“He’s got a good stature about him and I’m looking forward to working with Kyle next season.

“If he gets a good pre-season under his belt, then who knows how far we can take his career.”