SWINDON Town defender Mathieu Baudry says next season will be one of his “final challenges” in football and is keen to “leave the club in a better position” than when he arrived.

The 33-year-old has only played 17 times this season as poor form and a persistent hamstring injury has prevented Baudry from repeating his strong campaign in 2019-20.

The Le Havre-born centre-back returned from a three-and-a-half month absence in the weekend’s defeat to MK Dons, but Baudry’s comeback did not go to plan as he was substituted after just half an hour following a rusty start that included conceding a penalty for a blatant handball.

Keen to make amends for what he called a disappointing season overall, Baudry has vowed to come back stronger next season.

He said: “Personally, I know I haven’t been good enough, and for different reasons this season hasn’t gone well.

“I’ve got to look at myself, work and get better for next season. I’m getting older, so this will be one of my last challenges, but I don’t want to finish like that.

“I’ll work hard and try to come back next season because I think the fans deserve better than this.

“I have another year left on my contract, and I want to stay because I don’t want to leave with that picture in my head.

“I want to come back and help the club get back to a better position than we’re in.”

Next season will be Baudry’s third season at the County Ground after arriving on a free transfer at the end of his contract with Milton Keynes in 2019.

Two seasons of contrasting fortunes have greeted the 33-year-old, and the defender reiterated his desire to ensure the next campaign sees a return to positivity.

Baudry said: “I haven’t been good enough this season, so I’ll reflect on that during my time off. Then I’ll work hard because I’ve got to stay fitter than this season.

“Whatever happens, this will be one of my last challenges – to leave the club in a better position than when I came.

“I’ve got to self-assess, there’s no point finding excuses. I feel like I’ve learned a lot about myself with my injury, and I’m hoping I can stay fitter and sharper next year, and improve on what I’ve done this season.”