SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens is keen to sign on-loan defender Sid Nelson on a permanent basis in January.

Centre-back Nelson signed a six-month loan deal from Championship side Millwall in the summer but returns to his parent club after Town’s next League Two contest at home to Exeter City on New Year’s Day.

Nelson has played 23 times for Town in all competitions this season, establishing himself as the key figure in the heart of defence.

Wellens is therefore eager to retain the services of the 22-year-old, with Swindon’s priority being to complete a permanent deal once the transfer window re-opens on January 1.

“We are trying. I will leave it up to Paul Jewell (director of football) to discuss,” said Wellens.

“We would like to make it permanent for two reasons. First, he is a good player with good attributes that we can develop and use as an asset to the club – and it also frees up a loan.

“We are doing all we can. If the worst comes to the worst and we keep him on loan, then great.”

Nelson himself admits he has enjoyed his time at Town and would relish the prospect of extending his stay at the club, but any transfer activity will be determined by the two clubs.

“It is not all in my hands. I just want to keep my head down and keep playing football and keep doing a job for this club,” said Nelson.

“At the moment, it is where I am playing my football and where I am enjoying my football, so of course I want to be here and stay here, but a lot of things aren’t in my reach at the moment.

“I am not worried about it, it’s something other people can deal with. I am concentrating on my football. I love being here, but I will just keep my head down.”

Wellens has also stressed a desire to bring in a new striker ever since his appointment as Town boss in mid-November, and in recent weeks has felt the lack of a cutting edge up front has prevented draws from being turned into wins.

A goalless draw at Mansfield Town on Saturday meant Town have scored just once in the last three games and Wellens says chairman Lee Power is well aware of the area within the squad that needs improving.

“I don’t need to (tell the chairman) because it is black and white,” said Wellens.

“If you didn’t know the league table and had come to your first game of the season on Saturday, you’d have said: ‘That team in red aren’t bad – they just need to finish teams off’.

“I’m not paying disrespect because Marc Richards has come back and I thought Elijah Adebayo was a handful when he was on.

“But in those key moments in games, all the top teams have it, even at this level – they score goals when it counts.

“You can do all the work, you can coach strikers runs, but when they get in position, they need to take that half-second to relax and pick the right decision to finish it off.”