TOUMANI Diagouraga is expected to be out until the new year after Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens confirmed he will be unable to welcome any injured members of his squad back into action this weekend.

Midfielder Diagouraga has not featured in competitive action for Town since the 2-0 defeat at home to Cambridge United in League Two back on October 23, having picked up a thigh injury in a behind-closed-doors game against Southampton in early November.

Wellens revealed there is no immediate return to action in the offing for the 31-year-old and does not think he will be available again until well into January.

Strikers Kaiyne Woolery and Marc Richards remain on the sidelines for the visit of Newport County to the Energy Check County Ground on Saturday, and although centre-back Chris Robertson has stepped up his return from a foot injury, he is still unavailable for selection.

“Kaiyne Woolery will not be fit for another week or two,” said Wellens.

“We will assess that. We have a behind-closed-doors game arranged for next Tuesday, but that might be a bit too early.

“Chris Robertson has been running on the grass for around a week, but it is going to be another week or 10 days before he is joining in with full training.

“Marc Richards is a couple of weeks away and Toumani Diagouraga will probably be out until the middle of January now.

“In terms of my thinking, those three are not in it right now, so we will just have to go with what we have got. It’s tough because they are our experienced players.

“I am talking about experience a lot, but at this level, players who have seen it and done it are so important because sometimes when the young lads are having a bad five minutes, you lean on that experience just to drag you through it.”

After back-to-back victories over Port Vale and Stevenage – albeit with a disappointing FA Cup second round loss to Woking last time out – Town are looking to make it three League Two wins in a row against Newport this weekend.

However, with the Exiles currently fourth in the table and only outside the automatic promotion places on goal difference, Wellens does not expect them to come to Wiltshire with the intention of settling for a point.

“You wouldn’t imagine they’d park the bus,” said Wellens.

“They are the same most weeks – organised at the back and very strong.

“Their wing-backs are energetic so when they lose the ball, they’re a back five, but when they have the ball, they do push forward.

“(Jamille) Matt is obviously a big presence up front and they do play off him a lot and get runners, and (Josh) Sheehan is a good midfield player.

“They are up there for a reason because they have been very consistent, but I think if we are on top of our game, we can definitely cause them problems.”