RICHIE Wellens is well aware that consistency will be crucial to Swindon Town’s attempts to claw their way back towards the League Two play-off places.

A run of three league wins in succession in late November and early December saw Town move within four points of the top seven.

However, no victory has been garnered in the five games since then, with Swindon picking up only three draws in that time to see the gap between themselves and Carlisle United in the last of the play-off spots increase to nine points.

Town’s most recent match saw them fall to a 2-0 defeat at home to Exeter City on New Year’s Day and they now travel to Macclesfield Town on Saturday hunting a first victory of 2019.

The loss to the Grecians marked a run of four games in 11 days over the festive period, and Wellens conceded that heavy schedule had caught up with his troops.

The Town boss is desperate to kick-start his side’s season to prevent it stagnating and – alongside the addition of some fresh faces in January – Wellens knows that will depend on a much more reliable level of performance.

“To be a top-seven team in any division, you have to be consistent. You have to know the game and you have to be really clever,” said Wellens.

“You look at Exeter, they have just sold their best play (Jayden Stockley) but still have clever players that work the ball around and manage it.

“We’re still making progress in terms of doing that. We haven’t got a big enough squad.

“For example, I wanted to get two strikers up against them near the end – but we’ve got no wingers.

“We’ve got Jermaine McGlashan, but in terms of left wingers or wingers that I want that will go into pockets – we need to get bodies in.

“From where we’ve been so solid and organised and looked like a decent team, we just lacked energy – we looked ragged at times.

“There have been a lot of games in a short space of time and we have worked hard. But Tuesday was a game too much.”

Wellens is eager to strengthen his squad with new recruits in January, although he had already been handed a boost before the transfer window opened following Marc Richards’ return from injury.

The striker had not featured since October, but played the whole of the second half against Exeter on Tuesday, having also come off the bench in the 0-0 draw at Mansfield Town last weekend.

“Hopefully that 45 minutes (against Exeter) will do him well,” said Wellens.

“He’s a man, he’s had a career. I’m trying to pick a team to get the best from what I have got, for the time being.

“I’ve always said it, we need a couple in just to help us.”