HAVING adjusted Swindon Town’s tactical shape in the two hours leading up to kick-off, Richie Wellens revealed he was pleasantly surprised with this afternoon’s 3-1 win over League Two promotion hopefuls Crewe Alexandra at the Energy Check County Ground.

Crewe have lost all games this season when up against two strikers, and Wellens – after visiting Gresty Road last weekend for Barnsley’s FA Cup visit – consequently planned to play 4-4-2 this afternoon.

But that plan was scrapped following a dreadful Friday morning training session, which granted Wellens a sleepless night on Friday – an 11th hour tactical change was therefore implemented.

Players were informed upon their arrival at the County Ground this afternoon. And after negotiating a turbulent opening half-an-hour, Wellens’ players settled to extend the club’s unbeaten League Two home run to eight games.

“We kind of knew their team, they’ve played the same team in the last three or four games and I went to watch them against Barnsley in the FA Cup,” said Wellens.

“Barnsley played a diamond with two up front – Crewe couldn’t really get out. I wanted to play two strikers, so we planned 4-4-2 with our wide men and narrow defensively.

“But, the session (on Friday) and shape was awful. I wasn’t comfortable, Doughty wants to get forward and that would leave Rose – who has a defensive mind – on his own against three midfield players.

“I wasn’t comfortable with it at all, and I didn’t sleep much last night. We had a chat about three at the back, and went with it.

“We’ve been lucky, because we haven’t worked on it and went through the video just before we named the team.

“Players took that information on board, and we were ruthless in taking our chances.”

The 39-year-old Town boss admits three days off at the start of this week helped Town close out the game after Danny Rose struck the hosts’ third.

Crewe only threatened from two inswinging corners in the game’s concluding 10 minutes as Swindon moved onto 53 points from 27 games.

Wellens added: “We’ve had a week off, players had Sunday, Monday and Tuesday off.

“You don’t want to do that, but we haven’t got massive options from the bench so I’m really pleased with our energy. Crewe had a couple of corners late, but they didn’t cause us many problems.

“And credit to Anthony Grant who did a great job, Tom Broadbent was outstanding also. It was an ugly game, but the second half was about letting our centre forwards leaning onto their defenders – and that’s the way it went.”