SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens said every one of his fringe players was ‘miles off it’ in the club’s 3-0 EFL Trophy defeat to Plymouth Argyle on Tuesday night.

Town’s much-changed line-up was well beaten in midweek as they produced a lethargic and lacklustre performance against their sharp and enthusiastic Plymouth counterparts.

Zak Rudden’s wonderfully executed header put the Pilgrims ahead early on before the excellent Joel Grant doubled the lead before half-time.

Right back Joe Riley drilled in a third in the second half as Ryan Lowe’s men warmed up for Saturday’s league encounter in fine style.

Although the manager made seven changes to the side that lost 2-1 away at fellow promotion chasers Bradford City, Wellens felt none of his starting XI on Tuesday pushed themselves into his thinking for Saturday’s league fixture and apologised to supporters for his side failing to give those that watched value for money.

Wellens said: “Before the game, you give players the opportunity to impress.

“We made seven changes with a view of giving the players that train every single day but haven’t been getting much game time, time to feature in the first team, to go out and enjoy yourself, express yourself, work hard and then try and put something in my mind to say: “listen, I’m ready, I’ve worked my very hardest and I’ve played well. I’ve tried to express myself, put me in on Saturday.”

“But no one did that.

“I felt sorry for the supporters that came along because, although it’s not a competition that is high on our list, the supporters turned out tonight and we still want to put a performance in which is worthy of them paying their money to come in and watch us.

“They didn’t get any value for money at all.”

One small positive from Tuesday night’s defeat came in the form of on-loan goalkeeper Steven Benda making his full debut.

Despite being required to pick the ball out of his net three times, the German impressed his new manager – the same could not be said for the 10 outfield players in front of the Swansea man, according to Wellens.

He said: “I thought the Steven did well from what he had to deal with, but in terms of where those players that played tonight need to be to try and get in the team for Saturday – miles off it.

“And supporters can ask why certain players aren’t playing – the ones who have not been playing played tonight, but who should start on Saturday that played in that game?”