PHIL Brown admits one or two Swindon Town players are suffering on the pitch following this afternoon’s 1-1 draw against Northampton Town at the Energy Check County Ground.

Matt Taylor’s 25-yard second half free kick earned Swindon a hard-fought point against Keith Curle’s men, who took the lead John-Joe O’Toole’s 60th minute volley from a corner.

Town showed signs of promise in the opening minutes of the first half and the concluding 30 minutes of the second half – Marc Richards and James Dunne in particular went close to opening the scoring with only minutes played.

But a lacklustre performance for large parts of this afternoon’s game has further hurt a couple of Swindon players, admits Brown – who now sees his side positioned 13th after a quarter of the season.

Brown said: “I thought in the first half they came out of the traps very well, and I thought the first goal was going to be important.

“If we got the goal against a newly managed team then they might have gone back to their old ways.

“But when they got it I thought we’ve got something to hang onto here.

“Our response after they scored was outstanding. And if we started the game with that sort of mentality – a front foot approach – then it could’ve been different.

“We had two great chances at the start. James (Dunne) and Marc (Richards) forced their goalkeeper into making two very brave first half saves.

“Both players didn’t do anything wrong, they hit the target and worked the goalkeeper. But six-yard chances should hit the back of the net.

“It was one of those games where you look and think they might be happy with a point, though I’m not saying that for one minute.

“When they scored, the response from the players is what I want from minute one – not minute 60.

“If we get that sort of play from the start, we’ll have a chance.”

Attacking players Steven Alzate, Elijah Adebayo and Jermaine McGlashan all appeared to lack the creative flair Town fans have witnessed in parts of this season as Swindon recorded five shots on target – an improvement on their last two fixtures.

Brown’s decision to swap Marc Richards and Jermaine McGlashan for Scott Twine and Keshi Anderson did add a positive element to Swindon’s game moving forward, which was rewarded when Taylor struck his free kick with less than 20 minutes of the game remaining.

“We’re a group of individuals playing in a team sport, and if one or two are off or not firing on all cylinders then you’re not going to start well as a team,” said Brown.

“It’s up to me to identify the problems, of course, and put it right.

“One or two are suffering out there and not playing on top of their game, shall we say.

“But we’ve certainly got one or two that are playing on top of their game and there’s lots to admire, certainly regarding the substitutes that came on.

“I thought Scott (Twine) and Keshi (Anderson) were good.

“Keshi’s response to being left out was outstanding – he made a big difference.

“But I need that from minute one, if he does start the next game.”