NATHAN Byrne has stressed how important it is for Swindon Town to retain the core of their first team over the summer, despite inevitable interest in the Robins players during the off-season.

Byrne, who played 43 times for Town in 2013/14 after arriving from Tottenham Hotspur over the summer, expects the next three months to be filled with rumours and gossip, as other clubs sniff around the members of the Swindon squad who have impressed during the campaign.

However, having experienced the difficulty of dealing with a mass turnaround in playing staff at the club last season, the 21-year-old has emphasised the need, if at all possible, for Town to hang onto the likes of Wes Foderingham, Massimo Luongo and Yaser Kasim, who will most likely form the spine of the Swindon team next term.

Byrne told the Advertiser: “There will always be rumours or sniffs from other clubs for all of the boys. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens.

“It is important that we do keep the core of the team and hopefully the money being offered to our players is not good enough for them to leave. We’ll have to wait and see.

“I think a lot more lads will be staying this year than last year. When I came back after being on loan last year I came into a group where I knew about five lads from last season. That was tough and it’s been the same for the new boys coming in. It’s hard to adapt to a team with so many changes.

“I think there’ll be a stronger core next season and hopefully we can bring some more boys in to strengthen.”