PETER Shirtliff says he jumped at the chance to become a member of Richie Wellens’ backroom staff as the Swindon Town manager completed his coaching set-up at the Energy Check County Ground on Wednesday.

The 57-year-old has re-joined the Town staff under Wellens, nearly eight years after his first spell at SN1 as Danny Wilson’s assistant came to an end.

Since departing the club in March 2011, Shirtliff spent two years with Bury before being appointed assistant manager at Oldham Athletic under John Sheridan in 2016.

He joins manager Wellens and assistant Noel Hunt at Swindon with the side seven points off the League Two play-offs with 18 league matches to play.

Shirtliff is excited to back at the club where he enjoyed mild success almost 10 years ago and feels Wellens has assembled a perfect mix of energy and experience in his coaching staff.

He said: “I think it’s wise of Richie to get someone in like myself – the age that I am, I’ve been in the game a long time and you do things a little bit calmer and a little more reflective sometimes rather than the emotional side of the game.

“Richie asked me to work with him when he was at Oldham, but I was with another League One club at the time, so I felt a bit of loyalty to them and I didn’t join him then.

“But when he asked me to come here, I jumped at the chance.

“I was excited because I’ve been here before, I knew the potential and I think it’s a good opportunity.”

As a player, Shirtliff commanded over £1million in cumulative transfer fees, but feels that Wellens doesn’t have to splash the cash in order to improve what he believes is a talented group of players.

Shirtliff feels Town can ignite an unlikely play-off push, but they must start chaining wins together if they are to extend their season beyond the first week in May.

He said: “I’ve been in two sessions now and I’ve been pleasantly impressed with the attitudes and techniques of the players

“I’m quite impressed with them, so I think there’s more to come.

“In this league, if you win two or three games on the spin, you can jump so many places it’s unbelievable. Consistency is key between now and the end of the season.

“We’ve got 18 games left and if we want to get anywhere near the play-offs, we’re probably going to have to win 11 or 12 of them.”