SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens says his squad could do with more characters like Sid Nelson as he prepares to shuffle his defensive options following the end of the central defender’s loan.

Wellens has previously spoken of his desire to sign Nelson on a permanent basis on the back of his initial six-month stint at the Energy Check County Ground.

However, for the time being, the 22-year-old has returned to parent club Millwall in the Championship.

Nelson made 24 appearances for Town during his time in Wiltshire and established himself as a firm fans’ favourite with a series of lion-hearted performances at the back.

Unless another deal can be struck to bring him back to SN1 before Saturday’s trip to Macclesfield Town, Swindon will have to do without Nelson in their defence for the first League Two game in more than two months.

Nelson conceded a penalty that allowed Exeter City their first goal in the Grecians’ 2-0 win at the County Ground on New Year’s Day, before he was then forced off prior to half-time due to injury.

However, the overall impact Nelson has made at Town has been overwhelmingly positive and Wellens says players of his mould are much-needed within the camp.

“Sid has done great, he obviously made a wrong decision for the penalty and it cost us, but at least when he plays, he wears his heart on his sleeve,” said Wellens.

“When the ball goes up in the air, he wins the header. He’s aggressive.

“I want my centre-half to head it, and head it 30 or 40 yards if he has to – not keep flopping it down to midfield.

“In terms of Sid’s attitude, that is why supporters love him. And we need six or seven who wear their heart on their sleeve and are passionate about what they do.

“Then we need three or four that can produce a bit of magic and provide those match-winning moments.

“But at the moment, we are lacking that finishing touch and characters like Sid.”

Ahead of the trip to Moss Rose, Wellens took few positives from Town’s last outing against the Grecians and the only glimmer of promise that was shown in attack was that of the performance of Keshi Anderson.

However, the Town boss felt the 23-year-old forward should have had a goal to show for his efforts.

“I thought Keshi was good, but it was only him that turned up. He was the only one that wanted to make something happen,” said Wellens.

“He should’ve scored, but in terms of his work-rate and reactions – that probably the only positive to come out of the game.”

Town head to Macclesfield this weekend sitting 14th in the table, with 33 points from 26 games and they are nine points off the play-off places at present.

The Silkmen are currently second from bottom, having found life tough following their promotion from the National League last season.

Now under the guidance of Sol Campbell, Macclesfield have claimed only five league wins this term.