Striker Jason Scotland says he’s put thoughts of a loan move back to Swansea behind him now he’s back in Paul Jewell's Town side.
The 32-year-old, who faces his old club's biggest foes Cardiff on Saturday, looked set for a return to the Liberty Stadium last month having been on the bench for new manager Jewell’s early games in charge at Portman Road.
Scotland says that it was only a desire to play games which led to him look for the switch: “I wasn’t playing when I said that I wanted to leave. I spoke to the manager and Swansea were interested. But things have changed and now I’m playing, scoring goals and enjoying my football.
“I’m getting old in terms of football and I just want to be playing first team football week-in, week-out. Any player wants to be playing, no one wants to be sat on the bench.”
The Trinidad and Tobago international says he’s essentially happy with the way things have gone since returning to the side – “it’s gone pretty well” – but like everyone else was frustrated by Town’s inability to turn chances into goals against Portsmouth last week: “At half-time the manager was saying that the job’s not finished, that we were playing well but we need to finish off teams, and rightly so. At QPR it was the same, we were in the game for 45 minutes and we didn’t finish off our chances.
“Against Portsmouth we were bossing the game and we didn’t finish our chances and we got punished. That’s football. We have to make sure we punish teams.”
Scotland says he has no problem playing in the lone central striking role, a position he has occupied for most of his career: “When I was in Scotland I played with two strikers but since I’ve been in England, I’ve played as a lone striker with Swansea and at Wigan.
“I’m comfortable playing as a lone striker with people making things happen for me and putting the ball in the back of the net. It’s tough and there’s a lot of pressure on me, but I enjoy scoring goals and I enjoy pressure.
“I’ve fed on scraps all my career and scored goals playing as a lone striker, and most of all I’m happy to be back in the team.”
He says his current position suits him more than the one he tended to occupy under the club’s previous manager: “It’s kind if different. With Roy Keane and the system he played I think I played mostly behind the striker and it was difficult because he wanted me to do a defensive job as well.
“As a lone striker with a few out and out midfielders behind me, it’s easier knowing that the onus is for me to score goals rather than having any defensive work. It’s a different system and different style of playing.”
Scotland says he isn’t surprised that new manager Jewell is looking to bring in another striker but says he and his current team-mates will be looking to impress between now and the summer: “It’s a tough one for the manager.
He’s come in and everyone is trying to prove themselves this season because next season he’ll want to bring in his players and change things. I’m just trying to prove myself and score goals.
“I think it’s 21 starts and nine goals, so I don’t think that’s a bad ratio. I think I missed five or six games and when the gaffer came I didn’t play for three or four. Although I want to do better, it’s not a bad record when you check it.”
Of those nine, only one has come away from home, which the former Dundee United and St Johnstone man says he is working on: “It’s something that I’m looking at and even the players remind me I’ve only scored one away. Last week they were saying ‘What happened?’ because I didn’t score at home where I have scored most of my goals.
“It’s never happened to me in past seasons and it’s something that I’m trying to fix but it’s difficult. Sometimes I have been starved of opportunities but sometimes I’ve been getting opportunities and I haven’t taken them, at Sc**thorpe and against Reading for example.”
The Blues frontman says his fellow Trinidadian and ex-Defence Force team-mate Carlos Edwards is excelling in the right-back role he has occupied in recent weeks, a position Scotland says he has long felt suited the former Sunderland man: “He’s been great at right-back. I told him five or six years ago he was a better right-back because he had the engine to go up and down and his recovery is good.
“It’s just for him to get a defensive frame of mind and for the defenders to talk to him. I also told him he was a better right-back because he doesn’t create enough chances for the strikers!” he joked.
Scotland says Edwards’s game changed after he suffered an injury while on international duty in 2004: “After his knee injury he stopped doing what he was doing as a winger, stopped going into tackles and things like that because he had a bad injury. After that I think he came back as a different player and everybody could see it.
“I know Carlos, I played with him week-in, week-out and for the national team, and everybody thought he was better at right-back after that happened. Carlos played right-back at the World Cup for a couple of games and he did well.”
The striker believes his friend could play the role for some while yet: “He’s a really, really good athlete, he’s not like me, I can’t move, but he’s a really good athlete and I can see him playing at right-back for years to come.”
Scotland enjoyed the experience of the South Wales derby during his time at Swansea - “I think it’s the most fierce I’ve ever played in” – and is hoping to continue his good record against the Bluebirds tomorrow: “I’m looking forward to a nice warm welcome as a former Swansea player!
“I don’t think I’ve ever lost against Cardiff. Hopefully I can keep that going and obviously a goal would be nice and to celebrate in front of our fans.”
He’d also be chuffed to see his old team-mates pip their Welsh counterparts for a place in the Premier League: “Obviously I would be buzzing if Swansea went up rather than Cardiff! I would be delighted for the boys if they went up and Cardiff don’t.”
A rare Scotland away goal or two for the Blues on Saturday could help that become a reality.