LEARNING to cope without home advantage may be crucial to picking up points this season insists Richie Wellens after his Swindon team lost 3-1 to Charlton Athletic in the League Cup on Saturday.

Played in front of no spectators for the first time since competitive football returned to Wiltshire, Town were unable to harness momentum after equalising as the visitors scored twice late on to book their place in the second round.

Test events with crowds have already taken place at Premier League grounds in recent weeks while the EFL is to trial the return of fans at Cambridge United across the club’s next two games.

But if it is deemed to be unsafe for stadiums to hold anywhere near maximum capacity this season, a lack of driving force from the stands is something clubs, and in particular Town, will have to get used to.

Wellens said: “There’s definitely a difference (having no crowd) but obviously we play away as well so it might help us in that case, but at times we lacked experience.

“It’s really weird not having a crowd – the players are a little bit leggy at the end, which you expect, but a crowd can get you through those moments when you make a good tackle or make a good pass or find that extra energy from somewhere.

“It is really weird, but it’s the same for everybody and we’re going to have to get used to it and adapt very quickly.”

Despite being a goal behind at the break, Swindon emerged in the second half as the dominant force and were full value for debutant Jonny Smith’s equaliser.

But a lack of external voice really harmed Town’s chances of going on to score a second in Wellens’ opinion.

He said: “In terms of the experience for the two teams, we pull level at 1-1.

“If we’ve got our supporters behind us, we might not go on and win the game, but it puts them on the back foot and goals change games when there’s a crowd here.

“When we equalised, we had another couple of good counter-attacks. I remember Ellis Iandolo going down the left and passing short to someone when he should have cut in.

“But it’s easy for the away team to bank in and get back into the game and play as normal.”