SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens would be more than happy to win ugly against Exeter City on New Year’s Day in the hope of starting 2019 on a victorious note.

Town are so far unbeaten in the busy Christmas schedule, which sees them play four times in the space of 11 days.

However, only three League Two points have been garnered so far ahead of the last of that four-game sequence against the Grecians on January 1 following a run of three draws in a row at home to Cheltenham Town and away at both Northampton Town and Mansfield Town.

After losing 4-0 at home to Carlisle United on November 17 in his first match as Swindon manager, Wellens has suffered just one defeat in seven league matches since.

Although pleased with how the squad have developed under him, the recent run of draws means Town are without a victory in four games and Wellens knows only wins will start to show real progress is being made.

“I only watched five or six Swindon games before I came, but hopefully the supporters can see a difference,” said Wellens.

“The work-rate, the intensity and the level at which we press teams is brilliant. We are all switched on, we all know what we are doing.

“There were loads of positives from the Mansfield game at the weekend and I think we are heading in the right direction.

“We are looking a really difficult team to beat, we are not losing many games. Since Carlisle – which I will take the fault for – there is one defeat in seven.

“We are heading in the right direction, but I don’t want to get into the habit of saying: ‘We did well today, we drew, we were unlucky’. I want to get into the habit of winning.

“In the next game, I would take playing really badly but winning.

“These draws have been a platform, now we need a couple of wins to build on them.”

Steven Alzate, Toumani Diagouraga and Chris Robertson were all ruled out for Town against Mansfield, but none are likely to be fit enough to return against Exeter, meaning Wellens will likely have to field the same matchday 18 for the third time in a week.

“At this time of year, especially with the output of energy levels the players are putting in – the way we counter-attack is sprinting – we need to look after them, but that’s just normal,” said Wellens.

“It will be the same squad we will pick from. I need to make sure everyone is right.

“Steven Alzate will probably still be missing. He is a good player and I want to get him back involved with the squad.

“He had a scan at Brighton on Friday, so we will wait for the results of that to see where we go.”

Wellens was able to get match minutes into Marc Richards for the first time in his tenure at Mansfield, with the striker having missed more than two months of action with a persistent injury.

The 36-year-old played the final quarter of the game against the Stags and Wellens is delighted to have him back involved.

“Marc is clever in the box. I am looking forward to getting him back to 100 per cent,” said Wellens.

“He is a proven player at this level, he is a character and he is a man. I think we need a couple more of them.”