PHIL Brown pointedly questioned the application, attitude and desire of several members of his Swindon Town squad after yesterday's 2-1 defeat at Newport County.

While naming no specific names, Brown made no attempt to hide his displeasure at what had unfolded in the first half especially at Rodney Parade as goals from Padraig Amond and former Town man Ben Tozer put County comfortably in control.

The visitors improved somewhat in the second half and reduced arrears as Paul Mullin met Donal McDermott's cross and the ball flew into the net, the goal initially being credited to Irishman McDermott before later being changed to Mullin.

However, defender Rollin Menayese was then sent off for a second bookable offence as Town slipped three points adrift of the League Two play-off places courtesy of the 2-1 reverse.

Brown conducted a lengthy post-match inquest in the changing room after the final whistle but also revealed that some of the reaction in that face-off had left him disappointed.

"I think there is a little problem we have in the changing room when we come up against any physicality,'' said the County Ground chief.

"We don't seem to have that strength of character to step up to the plate.

"I went up to the fans at the end of the game and I must admit they were very complimentary to a certain extent that I had inherited what I've got and that's all you can have.

"I disagreed with that to a certain extent because at the end of the day I'm a coach. I do try to improve individuals and hopefully that will improve the collective.

"But you can't change the character of somebody. If he's not prepared to head the ball, if he's not prepared to put his body on the line, if he's not prepared to wear the 2, 5, 6 or 3 with any pride, then we've got a problem, it's as simple as that.

"We can all blame individuals and it's very easy to point fingers. My job is to get something from the game and in the first half we just didn't play well enough, we didn't work hard enough, we didn't look like we were up for the challenge - and that was (as) a collective.''

Brown saw an improvement from his men after the break, but it was not enough to get back on terms and Newport could have scored a third when Tozer's long-range effort struck a post late on after Town keeper Stuart Moore had been caught upfield at a late Town corner.

"In the second half, having made two substitutions at half-time, I thought the difference was quite phenomenal,'' added the manager.

"The two lads came on, McDermott and Mullin, and all I asked them to do was run around and show some pride and some passion in the shirt.

"I think the fans responded to that in the second half and I think the team responded to that in the second half. But the first half was just a non-event.''

Brown finally emerged more than an hour after the final whistle but while the lock-in hardly matched the two-hour one he conducted at the County Ground while manager of Southend in January 2016, the manager wasn't entirely impressed with how the summit meeting had concluded.

"We've been in there for 45 minutes. I could have gone on for three hours. You know what I'm like,'' he added.

"If it needs to be brought out, it needs to be brought out. One thing that stopped it at the end was one of the players said 'we've had these meetings for six or seven times this season and nothing comes of it.'

"What a waste of time that is.''

"Unfortunately I can't change the animal overnight and can't change the team overnight. But if given the opportunity to work with the team, I would certainly improve the side that's for sure.

"But I need a transfer window for that and we all know what that means.''