JAY McEveley believes that the experience of playing Crystal Palace stands the team in good stead for when they face Brighton in the first round of the Capital One Cup on Tuesday.
Now that pre-season is out of the way, the former Barnsley man says that the team are looking forward to facing the Seagulls.
“It’s been hard but we’re feeling the benefits of it now and we’re fit and ready to go,” he said. “It was a good test against Crystal Palace. I thought we did very well in the first half, slacked off in the second but we can work on stuff like that. Against a Championship side I think we looked a better team and that stands us in good stead going into a game against a Brighton side who are a very good team.
“They’ve got some great individuals and Gus Poyet has got them playing well. I’m sure they’ll be challenging for promotion this season I think that’s what they’re aiming for so it will be good to test ourselves against them. I know they like to get the ball down and play football and the teams that have come here and tried to play football we’ve liked that. The lads last year did well against the likes of Huddersfield and Wigan so we’ll go in with a game plan and try to execute it.”
The left back went on to discuss his personal aims for 2012/13 and why it will be important for Town’s defence to concentrate even harder now that they have made the step up into League One.
“I just want to improve as a player,” he said. “The manager has said he can improve me as a player and I believe him that’s why I came here. I wanted to work with him and hopefully I can get back to the level I was at a few years ago and help my career. I’m 27 now it feels like I’ve been around forever! I just want to get back to where I was and I think the manager can help me do that and as a team I want us to be challenging for promotion this season.”
“One mistake costs you a goal we saw that against Palace: we lost the ball, it was one pass, they were through and it was a penalty. The higher you go, you make a mistake and they punish you straight away. We’ve got to keep working on our shape and tactically make sure that if we do lose the ball we’re in the right positions to stop the passes going through and that will stand us in good stead for the season.”