RICHIE Wellens hopes the first fixture-free week of the new season can prove fruitful for Swindon Town in the transfer market.

For the first time since the 2019-20 campaign began back on August 3, Town have no midweek match in their schedule.

They will therefore have a full seven days to prepare for next weekend’s home game against Morecambe in League Two after sharing an entertaining 2-2 draw away at local rivals Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

Wellens has continued to express his desire to bolster his squad before the transfer window closes for EFL clubs in a week’s time on Monday, September 2.

With Town finally benefitting from a longer turnaround between games, manager Wellens is eager to use that extra time to ramp up his transfer activity as he attempts to bring in at least another three new players.

“Now it is the first free week, I am going to try my hardest. I think we need three (new signings), maybe four,” said Wellens.

“There are budgets and this, that and the other, but I think we have got a good chance this season.

“I think people know we have got a good team, and if we can get three or four just to supplement the squad, we can be a real force.

“We need to get the right players in and we will be working hard this week.”

Town will now have to do without key midfielder Michael Doughty following his impending three-game suspension after being shown a straight red card against Cheltenham on Saturday.

However, Wellens is unlikely to need to bring in additional cover in the middle of the park as Doughty’s ban has been offset by the return to fitness of Danny Rose.

The 31-year-old, who signed a one-year contract extension at SN1 over the summer, made his first appearance of the campaign off the bench at the Johnny-Rocks Stadium to mark his comeback from an injury sustained in pre-season.

When asked about the size of the blow Doughty’s suspension provides, Wellens stated: “Danny Rose is back.

“He is an experienced player who knows exactly what he is doing in terms of his midfield role.

“He can pick up second balls and can play simple passes, so we expect Danny to get a good run.”