A LETHARGIC opening half reduced Swindon Town to a 6-1 loss at Birmingham City’s Wast Hills Training Ground this afternoon.

Sixteen-year-old Jude Bellingham netted a second half brace for the hosts, while Dan Crowley, Isaac Vassell, Odin Bailey and Craig Gardner were also on target for Birmingham – Michael Doughty grabbed Town’s only goal.

Town evidently struggled against an energetic Blues outfit in the opening half – trailing by four goals at the break.

But Richie Wellens’ decision to bring Keshi Anderson, Michael Doughty and Rob Hunt on at half-time shifted the game’s momentum at the start of the second half, before defensive blunders gifted Blues their two late goals.

“The first half was a good lesson for us,” said Wellens.

“We know it’s pre-season, and they have worked hard, but we looked leggy and we looked lethargic.

“Birmingham caused us big problems, and we could’ve been a couple more goals down.

“The second half was an improvement, and we were unlucky to lose that 2-1 – we probably should’ve won it.

“We missed a few easy chances and their ‘keeper pulled off a couple of good saves.

“We had 21 players, and we still need four or five in. In terms of a starting XI, we are still short – especially in midfield.

“I’m glad it happened, you want this to happen now and not at the start of the season.”

Birmingham fielded new recruit Dan Crowley – bought from Dutch club Willem II for a reported £700,000 this week – in their squad.

While the experienced Craig Gardner also featured.

Wellens was however left frustrated most by his players’ poor first-half attitude, which dampened the previously good work established in pre-season prior to kick-off.

He added: “These training ground games can be very false – they’re not quite the same as playing on a first team pitch.

“Attitude for me today was the biggest disappointment. You could see it in the players’ body language – they were tired and felt sorry for themselves.

“They were slow when the ball was at their feet, and there was no sprinting.

“We’ll give them a rest because they have been working hard and be back in on Monday.”