RICHIE Wellens believes the senior members of his Swindon Town squad must raise their game while he is forced to field a side short on experience.

A lack of attacking options due to injuries meant teenage forwards Scott Twine and Sol Pryce were again handed starting places in Sunday’s FA Cup defeat at home to Woking, while Town’s four defenders in that match had an average age of just 21.

Swindon’s performance lacked the guile and cutting edge required to overcome a stubborn Woking side as the National League South outfit inflicted a shock 1-0 loss.

“We know that the young players are going to be up and down. It is up to the experienced players to be that seven-out-of-ten level every week to balance us off,” said Wellens.

“When you get young players, they can play well and badly in the same game in patches. They are going to be inconsistent in their performance.

“I thought we still had enough quality to win the game on Sunday, so I am hugely disappointed.”

Wellens made four changes to the side who beat Stevenage 3-2 in League Two in their previous match last Tuesday, with James Dunne amongst those brought in after a spell away due to personal reasons.

Club captain Olly Lancashire and goalkeeper Luke McCormick were also handed their first starts in the Wellens regime.

“I want to keep the spirit in the squad in terms of everyone playing. Two or three lads got an opportunity, which I felt was important,” said Wellens.

“James Dunne has not trained for two weeks other than the last couple of days before the game. I felt it was important he got a game.

“Luke McCormick is a very good goalkeeper and a very good professional. I felt his work warranted him starting.

“I think it’s important that if Sid Nelson or Luke Woolfenden go down on Saturday against Newport and we have got an injury, we have got people with minutes in their legs.”