SWINDON Town manager Phil Brown is eager to make a statement in tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy game at home to Newport Town.

The match at the Energy Check County Ground is the second of three group games for Town, who are playing catch-up in the competition after losing their pool opener 4-0 at home to Chelsea U21s last month.

They now come up against an Exiles side who have made a flying start to the new season and are currently only off the top of the League Two table on goal difference.

Town were beaten 2-1 in Wales in their previous meeting against Michael Flynn’s County at the back end of last season.

Aspects of that performance left Brown “embarrassed” but he believes the current Town squad have many more battling qualities about them, highlighted in Saturday’s gutsy 1-0 win away at Morecambe in the league.

“Do we need to make changes when we have a winning team and winning formula and a clean sheet and all of the things I have been asking for – the great 1-0 scoreline,” said Brown.

“It is about winning the game, it is about trying to put a team out that will cause problems for whoever the opposition is.

“At this moment in time, we have got one of the high-flyers in our division. For me, it is about the mentality of putting a marker down.

“Where Newport are concerned, nobody expected them to be up there at the start of the season – I did.

“I have this thing about managers and there is a grit and determination and gumption to the guy who is in the dugout on the opposite side of the fence.

“Having faced them last season, I was grossly embarrassed, if truth be known, by my team’s first-half performance in particular.

“It wasn’t a great day at the office by any stretch of the imagination, but we almost climbed the mountain and we didn’t have the spirit in the camp last season as we do this season.

“The XI that I am going to put out will be to put a marker down for Swindon Town. Every time you put a shirt on for Swindon Town, you represent it to the best of your ability to the way I want you to play.

“That is the grit and the determination. All the stuff you can’t measure needs to be on show regardless of what competition it is.”

Kyle Knoyle is available despite being sent off against Morecambe at the weekend, with the right-back starting his three-match ban in Saturday’s league game at home to Bury.

Midfield duo James Dunne and Toumani Diagouraga are both available for selection again after suspensions of their own, but goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux is still away on international duty with Chile.