SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens highlighted the importance of the first goal in games without a stadium at full capacity.

Following a 2-0 defeat for Town against Blackpool in front of a crowd of 1,000 home fans, Wellens noted how different the game is for the team that is chasing a result compared to the one in the lead.

Against Blackpool, Town competed well for the opening half an hour before CJ Hamilton’s first goal of the afternoon saw wave after wave of Tangerines attack before the half-time whistle.

With their second goal added almost straight away in the second, Blackpool cruised to victory and probably should have added to their tally late on when Town were struggling.

Asked if a contrast in performance may continue while the squad is still forming, Wellens pointed out how the game went before the first goal in Town’s opening two fixtures.

He said: “Let’s not take away from the importance of the first goal in this scenario.

“In the way that football is being played at the moment, teams are lifeless with 20 minutes to go.

“You could see it with Blackpool on Saturday – they’re holding onto a two-goal lead, they sit in and we can’t break them down.

“Then, when the ball turns over, the gaps are too big for us to do anything about.

“Every player in the world is quicker running forward than they are running back. So the first goal will be so important.”

With a full week to prepare his squad for the visit of Burton Albion on Saturday, Wellens is confident his team will bounce back in style at the County Ground.

The first goal will once again be vital in Wellens’ eyes as Town will continue their season with no fans in attendance.

The Town boss said: “I don’t know what the stats are saying since the restart, but the first goal feels massive.

“Against Rochdale, we got the first goal and we sat in for the last 20 minutes managing the game.

“Rochdale couldn’t break us down and we should have hit a couple on the counter. On Saturday, Blackpool did the same to us.

“But I didn’t like the last 10 minutes because I don’t like seeing my team become ragged and players looking after themselves because physically they’re not quite there yet.

“It might be the same again against Burton – the first goal will dictate the way players manage themselves.”