SWINDON Town boss Richie Wellens refused to take blame for Saturday’s 3-2 defeat at Cheltenham Town, and instead pointed the finger at a lack of leadership from key players in the immediate aftermath of Luke Woolfenden’s own goal.

The Ipswich Town loanee embarrassingly nodded Cheltenham into the lead when burying Sean Long’s cross into his own net.

The freak goal was accepted by Wellens, who admits mistakes across all disciplines are made.

But he was angered by his squad’s lack of motivation following the hosts’ opener – which consequently granted Cheltenham the opportunity to score twice more before the half concluded.

Wellens said: “I know the Cheltenham game meant nothing, but I look at myself.

“Did I do all the preparation? Did I watch Cheltenham? Did I analyse the opposition? I did my job.

“These players are still contracted to play at this club for a number of weeks, so you expect them to go out and perform.

“After about 60 minutes, Peter Shirtliff (first-team coach) asked me how many of the players do I trust – that’s a great question.

“I’m not going to say the answer. We have a Kyle Bennett that can create moments of magic, but you have to be able to trust your back four and the holding midfielder.”

One – debatably, the only – positive point from Saturday came after the game as Wellens confirmed midfielder Danny Rose has extended his stay at SN1 by signing a one-year contract.

The Town boss stated his side lacked leadership qualities that are high on Rose’s list of plus points.

Canice Carroll – who returned from injury – was also one of few players to earn the Town boss’ praise following the final whistle.

“I thought Canice was great, I’ll give him a mention,” said Wellens.

“For him to be out injured for a couple of weeks and come back in, that was very good.

“But as for the rest of them, we’ve got a lot of pretenders at the club.

“Danny Rose was due to start, but he felt his hamstring before the game – there is no point risking him at this stage of the season.

“He is a fantastic character, and we haven’t got enough of them. He’ll be part of the squad next season, he’s one of seven or eight players we have in contract next season.

“We missed Danny on Saturday because he brings an element of composure to the team.

“We had a spell after Luke (Woolfenden) made a mistake where all the intensity and motivation had to come from me.

“We made a mistake, that’s fine. But I wanted us to carry on the right way, and not go into our shell.

“It proved our lack of leadership.”