ON-LOAN defender Sid Nelson believes benefits of the high-press tactics implemented under new manager Richie Wellens are being reaped throughout the Swindon Town team.

Although Wellens’ first match in charge ended in a humbling 4-0 defeat at home to Carlisle United in mid-November, Town have lost just once in their next seven League Two fixtures.

A ploy of suffocating opponents when on the ball wherever they are on the pitch has given the Town side a clear identity, and centre-back Nelson thinks it has helped ease the pressure on the defence as well as allowing more chances to be created for forward players.

Wellens’ troops returned from third-placed Mansfield Town with a goalless draw at the weekend – their third draw in a row over the Christmas period – and Nelson believes defending from the front has aided the Swindon back-line.

“The higher up the pitch we can nick the ball, the easier it is for the defence because we are in the opponents’ half,” said Nelson, who sees his loan from Championship side Millwall expire in the new year.

“With the way we are playing at the moment – I think the fans can see it and we can feel it – we are going in the right direction and we have just got keep going together.

“At the start of the season, there was a bit of inconsistency. But since the new gaffer has come in, we have all been working hard on the training pitch.

“We all know our roles and responsibilities and we have just got to keep plugging away.

“We have been unlucky in the last three games. We have been giving it a good go, we have been trying to press from the front and you can see that we are nicking the ball high up and we are creating a lot of chances.

“We have got to keep going the way we are.”

Town will look to start 2019 with a home victory over Exeter City on New Year’s Day, having brought the curtain down on the current year with the stalemate at Mansfield.

The Stags currently sit third in the table having only lost once in 23 league fixtures, but Swindon were more than a match for them at the One Call Stadium.

Nelson felt the visitors could easily have travelled home with victory – a clear sign of the progress they have made under Wellens.

“It was a hard-earned point. Mansfield are near the top of the league for a reason and I thought we came out and gave it a right good go,” said Nelson.

“The boys were a credit to themselves and we deserved the three points because we were pressing and we looked like scoring. It is a good point and a clean sheet.

“We should have taken the three points on Saturday and in the previous game at Northampton too, but it is a good point.

“It is a hard place to go, they have only lost once all season.”

Post-match against the Stags, Wellens was frustrated at the lack of a clinical edge his side were able to show in the final third.

However, Nelson is sure the tactics being employed by Swindon at present will ensure goals start to flow sooner rather than later.

“We are relying on strikers to score and the strikers are relying on us to keep the ball out of the net – that’s the way football works,” said Nelson.

“We have just got to keep plugging away and I am sure with the way we are playing, everyone can see the three points will come soon.”