SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens says the club is close to signing one forward player and is desperate to see a couple of new faces through the door before Saturday’s visit of Port Vale.

Rarmani-Edmonds Green, Paul Caddis and Anthony Grant have been acquired since the turn of the year, but with deals for Dion Donohue, Eoin Doyle and Will Grigg looking increasingly unlikely, Town’s paper-thin squad is being stretched to its limit.

The average age of the bench on Saturday – without 36-year-old goalkeeper Luke McCormick – was just 19 while defender Joe Romanski was recalled from a successful loan spell at Southern League outfit Melksham Town last week to add options to Wellens’ armoury.

The Town manager is therefore very keen to welcome a new signing or two into the league leaders’ squad before Port Vale arrive at SN1 on Saturday afternoon.

Wellens said: “We need to do as much as we can in terms of getting players in as early as we can this week to give ourselves the best opportunity against Port Vale.

“We’re close with one player – he’s not an out-and-out striker, but he’s a forward thinking player.

“I’m very conscious that our loan situation is running thin and I want to save that, so we need to do as many permanent deals as we can.

“The squad now – because we’ve been running on empty a little bit over the past few weeks – needs some help, it needs some refuelling and it needs a boost with an extra couple of bodies coming through the door.”

Wellens previously mentioned that stand-in captain Mathieu Baudry may be back for this weekend’s game, although it is too soon for Zeki Fryers and Jordan Lyden with an injury and one more game of a suspension to go, respectively.

The 39-year-old pinpointed those players as key members of the side that pushed Town to the top of the league but says without them, Swindon do not currently possess the quality to ensure the team stays there between now and the end of April.

Wellens said: “It’s a reminder – yes, we are top of the league, but have we got a top of the league squad at the moment? No.

“The players that have got us to the top of the league – Baudry, Fryers, Lyden etcetera – we haven’t had them for a number of weeks.

“Our points return over the last few games was really good, but Newport was probably just one game too many.

“Even if we had signed a couple of players before that game, I don’t think it would have changed the way that the game went.”