ASSISTANT manager Ben Futcher believes Swindon Town are in rude health when it comes to their options up front.

The addition of Marc Richards on a free transfer in January has proved an inspired piece of recruitment by boss David Flitcroft, with the 35-year-old scoring seven goals in seven starts since his arrival at the Energy Check County Ground.

Richards has led the line alongside Luke Norris in each of those games and although the latter has not hit the back of the net during that run, Futcher has little doubt they are a potent partnership.

Norris remains Town’s top scorer this season with 12 goals in all competitions and with the likes of Paul Mullin and Kaiyne Woolery waiting in the wings, Futcher is delighted with the options the Swindon staff have at their disposal.

“Luke has done really well for us. He’s struck up a really good partnership with Marc and they’ve scored a lot of goals,” said Futcher.

“Marc is getting the goals at the minute but Luke is taking a lot of the shift. He’s working hard and he’s a good foil.

“Once we get the ball wide and get crosses in the box, Marc and Luke occupy defenders at this level.

“It doesn’t matter who is scoring. It’s nice for strikers obviously.

“Marc’s getting the plaudits but he’ll be the first to say that on Saturday against Port Vale, Luke could have scored himself.

“They’ve got a fantastic partnership and good competition with Paul Mullin, who came off the bench and was outstanding.

“It’s the same with Kaiyne Woolery. We’ve got four strikers really pushing each other and they know they have got to be on it because if not, someone is waiting in the wings to come in.”

Futcher has been thrilled with the instant impact Richards has made since his switch to the County Ground and never had any doubts that he could play a big role for Town.

“Marc is a fantastic professional. I’ve know him for a long time and so has the manager. The manager tried to sign him on a couple of occasions so we knew what we were getting,” said Futcher.

“People talk about his age of 35 but when you are as good a professional as he is, it’s no luck. He trains to his maximum every day and sets himself ridiculously high standards and lives up to them on the pitch.

“We’ve got a very young frontline, so to bring someone of that experience in was key. They are all going to learn off him. Working with someone like Marc will only help their development long term.

“He’s a fantastic character in the dressing room and a really good signing for us.”