LIVING within close proximity of Fulham’s Motspur Park training ground has favoured Swindon Town defender Gabriel Zakuani following the mutual termination of his contract at Gillingham.

The 33-year-old made his first Football League appearance in eight months on Saturday as Town slipped to a 2-1 defeat to Bradford City at Valley Parade.

Zakuani’s work-rate and fitness levels certainly were not of a concern to Town boss Richie Wellens in the aftermath of his side’s loss.

And the defender thanked his former club Fulham for allowing him to train at their training base while he searched for playing options as a free agent.

“I only cancelled my contract at Gillingham at the end of the transfer window, so fitness hasn’t been a problem,” said Zakuani.

“I’ve been going into Fulham for training sessions, and now I’m pleased to be at Swindon.

“I’ve got a place sorted to live in, so I’ll settle down quickly and get to know the players and the area.

“I’ve been around the block, to be honest. There was a lot of pressure on Saturday but Bradford’s style of play suited me.

“They lumped balls in and I tried to eat up every ball.

“Pressure isn’t a problem. I’m at an age where I’ve seen it all before.

“For me, it was about getting used to the system and the players – and I think I’ve got used to it pretty quickly.”

Zakuani outlined his belief that all of Swindon’s games this season will present them with stiff challenges.

But the visit of Plymouth Argyle in League Two on Saturday followed by a trip to Crewe Alexandra a week later look particularly tricky tasks given the ambitions of both teams.

Coaching younger players the tricks of the trade has also been set as a short-term goal by the defender.

Zakuani said: “Saturday was probably the hardest game I could’ve gone into. It was a long journey to play a very physical side.

“I’m disappointed we didn’t nick something out of the game. But the team is honest and full of players that want to get on the ball to make things happen.

“The likes of myself and a couple of other experienced players do need to teach the younger players how to manage the game better, though.”