HOPES of replicating success from their days at Bolton Wanderers are high for Swindon Town boss Phil Brown and his new assistant Neil McDonald.

McDonald, who worked with Brown under Sam Allardyce at the Wanderers in the 90s, was announced as Swindon Town’s number two by the club on Wednesday afternoon.

The pair helped Allardyce guide Bolton into European football after joining the club while they were stuck in a second division rut, where Brown acted as assistant manager and McDonald filled the first-team coach role.

Pairing up at the County Ground, therefore, echoes familiar territory for the experienced pair – who both hold pro licences.

And Brown said replicating Bolton’s philosophy of having a strong and educated backroom staff is high on his list of priorities.

“Our success under Sam Allardyce was down to the fact that we had a really strong, educated, backroom staff,” said Brown.

“I’m going down that line again - Neil has had his pro license for a number of years now.

“We’ve all worked hard at it, and I’m absolutely delighted Neil has put pen-to-paper.

“It was all about hard work, dedication and commitment (at Bolton) – all the big words that you get from backroom staff in the background.

“That’s something the supporters don’t actually see, but I see it on a daily basis.

“And I witnessed that with Neil, he’s a very ambitious man that wanted to go on and manage his own football club – and he’s managed to do that.”

McDonald’s appointment means Brown is just one signature away from having three UEFA pro-licences.

Influential winger Matt Taylor also holds a pro licence.

And the Town boss told the Advertiser that Taylor is close to signing a deal with the club for next season as a player-coach.

He said: “Fingers crossed we’re getting Matt Taylor – he’s close to signing a deal.

“We could have three pro license holders in the backroom staff in the second division. That is something to behold, the experience is there.

“Success or not, the experience of management is vital. I think it’s a vital ingredient where an assistant manager is concerned.

“Neil knows exactly what it’s like sitting in the hot seat and knows exactly what it’s like to make big decisions.

“And he doesn’t take it lightly, his experience where that’s concerned is certainly going to help support myself and Matt Taylor, if he decides to come onboard as a player-coach.”

McDonald’s arrival at the County Ground is a result of a commitment between Brown and his new assistant that they would work together, a discussion that took place six years ago.

Brown added: “Having been assistant manager and first team coach at Bolton, we’re now going up a notch to manager and assistant manager.

“The success we had at Bolton behind Sam Allardyce (getting into Europe) was good, when we arrived we were in the second division and when we left we were in Europe.

“We left the club in a good place, hopefully we can repeat that with Swindon Town.”