FORMER Swindon Town defender Paul Caddis revealed he could have left the club in January after bosses offered to pay his contract up five months early.

The Scottish defender endured a tough 2020-21 campaign at the County Ground, and by his own admissions rarely met the standards of performance he expected of himself.

With Swindon possessing several full-back options, Caddis was deemed surplus to requirements by manager John Sheridan and the Town hierarchy and was therefore offered a way out near the end of the January transfer window.

Speaking on a fascinating Loathed Strangers episode recently, Caddis discussed his fragile confidence levels and how his second stint at the County Ground could have ended prematurely.

He said: “I’ve gone my whole career being steady and reliable, nothing great, nothing special, nothing terrible.

“But when you get a few games in a row where you think: “I was a five today, I was a three today”, you do start to lose confidence.

“I tried time after time to get it going again, but it came to the end of January and the club tried to pay me up, they tried to get me out.

“That obviously wasn’t great for confidence, but I didn’t accept that. They tried to pay my contract up, but we didn’t come to an agreement, so I stayed.

“I wasn’t in the squad for about seven or eight games through January and the start of February.”

Caddis played 27 times all told for Swindon throughout the 2020-21 campaign, scoring two goals and assisting two others.

But the 33-year-old only played three times from Town’s game away at Crewe on December 1, 2020 to a cameo appearance late on against Portsmouth on February 9, 2021.

Describing what life was like personally during that time, Caddis said: “John Sheridan was the manager at the time, and he was as honest as they come.

“We’d brought (Kieron) Freeman in at that time, and we had Rob Hunt, so I wasn’t playing.

“The conversation was had that they would be willing to pay my contract up. They offered me a few things, and I rejected them.

“It got to the last day of the window and Freeman had left. But I also had a conversation when I did come back into the squad away at Portsmouth – I don’t know if anyone noticed but there was a period where I only played home games regardless of the result.

“I was told I was only going to play home games, which I didn’t understand. I assumed we’d get more of the ball and because of my quality on the ball, but it seemed to be that we had more of the ball away from home to be honest. That was just one of many crazy things that happened.”