DAVID Flitcroft has warned his Swindon Town players they need to be more ruthless if they are to have a successful season in the English Football League’s bottom tier.

Speaking after a narrow 1-0 defeat to Newport County at the Energy Check County Ground, the Town manager was left exasperated as his players managed only one shot on target.

Flitcroft acknowledged Town’s attacking threat was inferior to recent weeks, with top scorer Luke Norris out with an ankle injury, while in-form midfielder Timi Elsnik is set for a longer absence with a hamstring problem.

Former Swindon Town defender Ben Tozer came back to haunt the Wiltshire side as his 75th-minute header from a corner was the only thing to separate the two sides.

Other than that goal, County only had one other attack on Reice Charles-Cook’s goal, which highlighted the importance of taking chances, according to Flitcroft.

“Today, we have been beaten by a set piece, but I don’t think that is the reason we have lost the game,” he said.

“We didn’t make a big enough impression on their goalkeeper until late on and we have got to do that more.

“Newport are always going to be a side who come and test you. They’re structurally good and Frank Nouble is in fantastic form.

“We only really had to cope with them for 15 minutes in the first half, where we dug in, but we should have made more of an impression and we didn’t do that.

“That isn’t the first match which that has happened (in) and you have to be ruthless in both boxes, in any league and certainly in League Two.

“What happens between the two 18-yard boxes is irrelevant at times, we certainly weren’t ruthless enough.”

In their 11 home games so far, Swindon have scored a total of 14 goals.

However, while some may be worried that his team may not be finding their shooting boots at the County Ground often enough, Flitcroft remains confident that it isn’t a cause for concern.

“We score enough goals,” he said.

“You create to score. I watched Luton and they beat Carlisle United 4-0, they only had four chances and they scored four goals - that’s ruthless.

“We’ve scored plenty of goals home and away, it’s not really been a concern.

“Luke Norris, our top scorer, isn’t in there at the minute and he’s made it look easy at times, Keshi Anderson has found a bit of form of late and Paul Mullin has come on at times and scored goals.

“There was a goal threat in Timi Elsnik so we just need to go back to the drawing board and make sure we keep doing our work on the training ground.”