HEAD coach Luke Williams believes a marker of Swindon Town’s apparent new mental toughness can only be gauged after tomorrow’s game at home to Bradford City.

Town put the hangover of an FA Cup first-round exit at the hands of non-league Eastleigh and crushing League One defeat to Rochdale to bed on Tuesday night with a battling draw away at Southend United.

Swindon recovered from going a goal down early on at Roots Hall before ensuring they left Essex with a point by producing a resolute defensive effort late on.

Town have folded too easily in similar tough situations this term, so Williams was quick to praise the character shown against the Shrimpers.

The head coach now expects the same level to be on display week in, week out, with that particularly crucial this weekend against a Bantams side in the thick of a promotion push.

When asked what the psychological significance of the midweek draw will have on the squad, Williams said: “I think only the next performance will tell us the answer to that question.

“They need to build upon that and need to make sure that type of desire is ever present in every single performance but only time will tell.

“Saturday will be an enormous test. I think they [Bradford] will be one of the front runners and they will be for the whole season.

“We know we need to be at the top of our game to be able to get anything out of that one.”

Michael Doughty and Bradley Barry were late withdrawals for Tuesday’s game because of ankle and hamstring injuries respectively and the Town staff will run the rule over both ahead of tomorrow’s clash.

Yaser Kasim was not considered to face the Shrimpers as he is suffering with an ankle problem of his own, while James Brophy continues to undergo fitness tests because of breathing problems.

Skipper Nathan Thompson has been out of action since limping off against Eastleigh in the FA Cup on November 4 and although he is not yet ready to return, Williams is pleased with the progress he has made with his hamstring injury.

“Both of them [Doughty and Barry] are nursing small injuries that ruled them out for Tuesday but we will assess them and see if they have got a chance to be available for the next fixture,” said Williams.

“Nathan is getting closer because he is reacting well and he is doing everything he possibly can. Generally, he is a good healer and it seems to be pretty much par for the course. At the moment it’s impossible to put a timescale on it but he is making good progress.”