RETIRING Swindon Town defender Matt Taylor is optimistic about the club’s future and believes there are a significant number of fans who want to come out and support the team, but need "something to hold on to" next season.

Town recorded their lowest league finish in 37 years at the culmination of the 2018-19 season as attendances began to dip below 6,000.

Performances on the pitch did gradually improve once manager Richie Wellens had been appointed, especially from January to March, but an ultimately futile attempt to mount a late play-off charge extinguished the growing belief among the fan base in the team’s ability to achieve success.

Defender Taylor, who played for seven different clubs over the course of his 20-season professional career, admitted the club did not deserve promotion this season.

And the 37-year-old stated that if a return to League One is to be achieved next season, the research that goes in to recruiting players will have to be diligently carried out.

Asked where he sees the club going, Taylor said: “Hopefully forwards.

"It’s been well versed that there’s going to be a big turnover in players this summer, so recruitment will be key.

“I think that, at times, the length of research that has gone into recruitment probably wasn’t what it should have been, but the manager is working very hard here, along with the coaching staff, to try and sign the type of players that will fit into his system next season.

“For me to sit here now and say that the football club doesn’t deserve to be in this league – they should be higher – would be wrong of me to do so.

“In the last game of the season, we came up against Notts County, one of the founding members of the Football League, who have ultimately found themselves being relegated.”

Taylor, who is due to complete his UEFA Pro coaching badges next month, is hopeful that manager Wellens can assemble a team that is capable of climbing out of League Two next term.

The Oxford-born player believes attendances will rise back up once fans see the foundations of a successful team in place.

Taylor said: “This game gives you nothing. You get out exactly what you put in, so I just hope next season is a more positive one for the fans because I think they want to come out and support the team.

“They just need to be given something to hold on to.

“Hopefully, Richie, the coaching staff and the players that are here next season and the ones that he signs, can give the fans something to shout about.”