Double incentive against PNE for Ricketts

Swindon Town's Sam Ricketts
Swindon Town's Sam Ricketts
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Swindon Town loan man Sam Ricketts has a double incentive on Sunday when the Robins face Preston at Wembley in the League One play-off final.

The 33-year-old defender – who joined on loan at the beginning of April from Championship outfit Wolverhampton Wanderers – is keen to play his part in a promotion victory for Town.

He is also hoping his efforts at Wembley will be enough for him to secure a permanent deal with Swindon or elsewhere as he is set to be released by Wolves in the summer .

Ricketts has made 11 appearances for the Robins since moving from Molyneux, including both play-off semi-final legs against Sheffield United.

The former Bolton and Hull City star scored the all-important equaliser in the away match as the Robins battled back to win 2-1 at Bramall Lane.

“I just needed to play games,” Ricketts said.

“I’ve been fortunate that I have played games since I’ve been here because people soon forget about you or think you are injured – and that’s not the case.

“Match fitness has taken a little while to catch up but playing games has been good and hopefully it’s another promotion.

“These are the occasions you look back on at the end of your career and it’s a great achievement to have played at Wembley in the play-off final – if you win then it’s all the better.

“If you lose then you tend to forget it, but if you win it’s a great day out.”

While the Robins are feeling confident heading into Sunday’s clash, Ricketts knows they face a tough task to get the better of Preston, who finished 10 points ahead of them during the normal season.

“It’s going to be a real hard game - Preston have been knocking on the door to get promoted out of League One for the last couple of years,” said Rickettts.

“We know that they are a strong, physical side, they’ve got some very, very good players in there as well and they are hugely dangerous going forward and they are a very solid and well organised outfit.

“We’ve got our ways and our own plans to do that and hopefully we can carry those plans out to the standard required on the day.

Ricketts is likely to be joined in defence by 20-year-old rising star Jordan Turnbull, who is on loan from Premier League outfit Southampton.

The Robins last reached the League One play-off final was in 2010 when they were beaten 1-0 by Millwall at Wembley.

Arguably their finest hour came at at the ‘Home of Football’ when, as an old Third Division club, they defeated Arsenal 3-1 in the League Cup Final in 1969.

Goals from Roger Smart and Don Rogers completed a famous win.