SWINDON Town will run out onto the Energy Check County Ground pitch for the first time this season tonight as they take on Manchester United U23s in a pre-season friendly.

Richie Wellens’ side were due to face Birmingham City in Swindon last Friday night, but complications with the irrigation system at SN1 forced Town to travel up to the Midlands to play at the Blues’ Redhill training complex.

Beaten 6-1 by the Championship side, Wellens was left frustrated by his side’s ‘lethargic’ performance as substitute Michael Doughty scored the visitors’ only goal.

Now back on home turf for the visit of United’s youth team players, Wellens wants to see a drastic improvement in attitude and work-rate from his squad as they return to a stadium setting.

“It will be nice to come back to the County Ground,” said Wellens.

“I was disappointed the Birmingham game was called off.

“We haven’t had any experience of a stadium yet. And it’s so different.

“We were very loose with our pressing in the first half against Birmingham, but we still took risks.

“There’s plenty of room for improvement after Friday’s game. I’m not going to get carried away about the result – it’s more about the performance.

“Jerry Yates was the only player I thought put a shift in during the first half. He did things I wanted him to do.

“Otherwise, the workload was nowhere near what it would be for a league match.”

Ahead of a potentially busy week at the County Ground, Wellens provided updates on three players whose futures at the club are still up in the air – midfielder Toumani Diagouraga, winger Jermaine McGlashan and trialist goalkeeper Nikolay Krastev.

Bulgarian stopper Krastev has been with Town since the start of pre-season, playing in friendlies against non-league sides Brimscombe & Thrupp, Swindon Supermarine and Hungerford Town before the match against the Blues.

And with less than two weeks until the start of the new League Two season on August 3, Wellens stated he will decide on Krastev’s future before Saturday’s home friendly against Coventry City.

Wellens said: “We’ll make a decision privately in the next few days.”

Meanwhile, the Town chief is still keen to see Diagouraga and McGlashan leave Wiltshire in order to free up funds for prospective signings.

“We didn’t have one offer for either of them last week,” said Wellens.

“There was a tentative enquiry for Toumani two or three weeks ago, but that’s not really developed.

“We need to try and release those wages to get some more players in.”