THE NUMBER of supporters that come into a ground should not affect levels of performance, according to Swindon Town manager Richie Wellens.

The 39-year-old’s comments came after he was asked whether the fantastic number of fans who turned up to watch last weekend’s 2-1 win over Exeter City had any influence on pre-match messages to his players.

Wellens insisted the Town management team prepare for every game in the same manner – and plans are not changed depending on whether a capacity crowd is expected, or a scattering of supporters litter the terraces.

He said: “If we play in front of 50,000 or we play in front of 5,000, it’s the same pitch, the same players and we want the same result.

“We don’t really make anything of that fact there might be more fans in one day than the other.

“We’re not saying ‘do this’ or ‘don’t do this’ as a result, because then you’re maybe putting doubts in players’ minds.

“We just want them to play with a freedom, as I’ve always let them do.”

Following on from Wellens’ insight into what kind of speech he gives the Town squad before a game, the Swindon boss said he tries to keep a consistent line surrounding what players can do to affect results.

Wellens said it is no use players worrying about outside influences as that wastes energy – instead, the 39-year-old said it is a case of adhering to the old cliché of worrying about the things you can control.

He said: “I tell the players to just concentrate on what they can affect.

“You can’t affect how many supporters can come into the ground, but what you can affect is what you’ve trained all week to do.

“You can implement the information that we – as management – have given you, and then it’s a case of showing your natural ability and the mental strength you’ve shown all season.

“If they take that onto the pitch, and the players perform to a level which gets the crowd going, that can be an extra bonus.”