PHIL Brown says several players have staked their claim for a place in the Swindon Town side for Saturday’s League Two clash at home to Bury in the wake of the midweek win over Newport County – and none more so than goalkeeper Luke McCormick.

McCormick kept a second clean sheet in as many games during Town’s 1-0 win over the Exiles in the Checkatrade Trophy on Tuesday night, having also excelled last weekend when Brown’s side won by the same scoreline at Morecambe in the league.

Those were only the second and third starts of the season for the 35-year-old, who has been thrust into action to cover the absence of regular number one Lawrence Vigouroux while on international duty with Chile.

Brown made five changes in total to the team that had beaten the Shrimps, but it had no ill effects as Town extended their unbeaten run to six matches in all competitions against County.

As Swindon turn their attentions back to their league programme at home to Bury this weekend, Brown says his increasing selection dilemma is a good one to have.

When asked which players had strengthened their claims the most, Brown said: “Luke McCormick, for one. He comes in for two games and keeps two clean sheets. It is a magnificent return.

“I think squads are important and the depth is important. I can call on Toumani Diagrouaga and James Dunne and Ellis Iandolo as a midfield three to replace the midfield three that played on Saturday – and that’s without Martin Smith being mentioned.

“We just look like the competition for places is key to any kind of success we are going to have.

“The more red cards we get, the easier it makes my job – it should be the other way round. We have a queue where it is a case of ‘if you get red-carded, I am taking your shirt’.

“That’s all I asked on Tuesday, for the players to stake claim to a shirt for Saturday because the players that played last Saturday have already staked a claim, and make my job harder.

“I don’t mind that, I don’t want an easy ride where that is concerned, I want my door to be banged down on a Saturday evening or a Monday morning.

“I had one or knocking ahead of Tuesday but I think that was quietly answered by a 1-0 victory.”

James Dunne and Toumani Diagouraga both returned from suspension against Newport, and while Kyle Knoyle begins a three-match ban of his own, Brown’s selection hand could further be strengthened should Dion Conroy be back in training later this week.

“The changing room is strong at the moment because of the two clean sheets and two wins,” said Brown.

“It is a good place to be and the treatment room is slowly but surely emptying.

“Chris Robertson can maybe join in training some stage next week and I hope Dion Conroy is going to be on the training ground on Thursday and Friday and really cause me a headache.”