Andy Oakes on life at Merson's Walsall

Last updated : 15 October 2006 By Andy Van Hagen
Andy Oakes has been talking to Swansea City's official website about his career. Of course having arrived from Walsall in the summer he has something to say about his previous employers.

"I didn't have much chance of playing (at Bolton) because Jaaskelainen was like a son to Sam. In the end I asked to leave and moved back home to the Midlands. It was an easy decision to leave because I'm only happy when I'm playing.... Yes it was a step back, but I was facing a dead end. I had to find a way out and sometimes you've got to take a step back to go forward again.''

Oakes admits it was something of a culture shock at the Walsall under Paul Merson. "Let's just say we had different definitions for the word professional. I wasn't too enamoured with the set up, their approach or the manner in which they ran things. I'd like to think I've got a professional approach to the game. I try and prepare right for every game and do everything that is expected of me. You've got to prepare right or prepare to fail. I'm normally first onto the training ground and last off it. At the end of the day, it's not just football it's my livelihood. I've got a family to support''.

He added "In fairness to Swansea, everything is done with a professional approach here and it's nice to get back to a bit of discipline."

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