RICHIE Wellens has praised the work ethic and commitment displayed in training by Marc Richards this week, following on from his failed deadline day move to Port Vale.

Richards, 36, was set to leave Swindon Town on deadline day after a verbal agreement regarding the striker’s move away from the County Ground was reached with Port Vale chairman Norman Smurthwaite.

That verbal agreement was struck with less than three hours remaining in the transfer window.

Consequently, travel time from Richards’ home to Vale Park coupled with a severe lack of preparation time to deliver the required paperwork meant the deal fell through.

Despite the deadline day hiccup, Wellens piled praise onto his striker’s shoulders and said younger players can learn a lot by taking notes on his professionalism even when off-pitch matters can act as a distraction.

He said: “Marc (Richards) has been brilliant.

“He’s aware that another striker (Theo Robinson) has joined, and I have been watching his body language.

“He is a good experienced professional that knows the game, and obviously he is fighting for his future.

“He wants to play on – he’s in good physical shape. The only way for him to get another year is to play well.

“He’s had a couple of injuries this season, but if he can keep fit and score six to 10 goals between now and the end of the season then great.”

The Town boss also used versatile left-back Matt Taylor as a key example of what his younger players should aspire to be in the future.

Taylor has been left out of the starting XI since Town’s 2-2 draw against Lincoln.

But Wellens revealed his decision to leave last season’s Swindon Advertiser Town Player of the Year on the bench in the club’s last two games has been due to the player requiring rest.

“We’ve got good examples of experienced professionals at the club that younger players can learn from,” said Wellens.

“Matt Taylor is an example of that – he’s played at the top level and trains properly every day. I felt Matt needed a rest.

“I’ll ask Matt if he’s okay and every single day he will say yes. But sometimes when I watch him, I know that he is not.

“He’s such a good professional that he doesn’t want to be out of the team. He’s had a good rest now and has looked really good in training. He might be ready to come back into the team.”