MIDFIELDER Martin Smith says only a unified spirit within the camp will help Swindon Town get back on smoother ground after a difficult spell.

A tough run of one win in eight League Two matches – and just six points picked up in that time – cost Phil Brown his job as Town manager earlier this month, with even an FA Cup first round success over York City unable to save him.

Richie Wellens was swiftly appointed as Brown’s successor at the Energy Check County Ground, but there was not instant upturn in fortunes as Town crashed to a 4-0 loss at home to Carlisle United in the new manager’s first match in charge last weekend.

Although Wellens’ tenure did not get off to the start he wanted, Smith say his arrival can have a galvanising effect on the squad as every player looks to impress.

“When a new manager comes in, the players have got to adapt – it gets a reaction out of the players,” said Smith, who was one of a number of new recruits made by Brown over the summer.

“This is a period where we have had to stick together and work hard.

“We are going through a period where it has been difficult for us, but what’s happened is part of football – it does happen.

“I guess you get used to it a little bit and from the players’ point of view, you have to be professional and get on with your job.

“It has been a good week’s training and we are just trying to put in place what the manager wants. All the players are buying into that.”

Smith concedes the sudden nature of Brown’s departure – with his dismissal coming just 24 hours after Town’s FA Cup win over York – came as a surprise to the squad.

However, the 23-year-old stressed that the only response is to immediately buy into Wellens’ new ideas.

“It was a little bit of a shock, especially after we won, but what’s happened is done now,” said Smith.

“You can’t affect what’s gone on in the past, you can only affect what’s in front of you. That is finished now and you have to move on, you can’t dwell on the past.

“There is a new manager in charge now and all the players are buying into what he wants so we have to keep working and keep learning and putting it into our performance on Saturday.

“As a player, you have to be adaptable. It doesn’t matter where you are playing on the pitch, what the manager wants from you, you have got to give them.

“Whoever the manager is, you listen to what they want and you adapt your game.”

With Wellens overseeing his second game on Saturday when Town travel to Port Vale, Smith says the squad have swiftly bought into his principles regarding play – primarily being positive with the ball.

“He has set out the way he wants us to play and we have got players that suit that and players that enjoy playing that way,” said Smith.

“He wants us to have a structure in the team of when we have the ball and when we don’t have the ball.

“He has made clear what he wants and it has been detailed, so we all know our jobs and our roles of where we are playing.

“It is about taking that on board and learning quickly and putting it into the games each week.”