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Still time for transfer activity says Wellens
RICHIE WELLENS didn't rule out the possibility of late deadline day activity at Swindon with the Town manager possibly expecting one in and two out. Total Sport Swindon's Rajan Hothi spoke to the Swindon gaffer ahead of the clash with Exeter.
It's been a hectic transfer window for the Wellens and co. with League Two's top goalscorers Eoin Doyle and Jerry Yates being recalled earlier in the month, but the pair have returned to SN1 much to the delight of Town's manager.
"It was a massive shock to lose him [Yates] as I had the idea with the conversations I was having that we might lose Doyle, but keep Jerry," said Wellens.
"My thinking was to get someone else in to always have Jerry as a back-up number nine, so to lose him was a shock.
"Forget ability and what they do on the pitch, it's what they bring to the dressing room and to the environment. They're both great lads and popular members of the squad, and the goals are there for everyone to see," he continued.
"Losing 36 goals from your team, it's going to be tough, but we've got them back."
The return of Doyle came as a shock to Swindon fans after Wellens stated that there was a "99% chance it won't happen," but the deal agreed only keeps Doyle at the club until the summer.
Wellens revealed that the short-term contract had to be agreed due to the amount Swindon are now paying for the 31-year-old.
"The loan deal that was initially agreed was significantly less than what we have agreed now until the end of the season," stated Wellens.
"If we're in League Two, we can't compete with what Bradford City were paying him so we have to restrict our liability to that.
"Hopefully we can get promoted and get more people through the gates from now until the end of the season to pay for him. Let's see how the rest of the season goes and then reassess it."
Swindon have been active this window making the loan deals of Doyle and Anthony Grant permanent alongside signing Rarmani Edmonds-Green and Admiral Muskwe on loan deals, but Wellens insisted that there could be more deals done.
"Maybe one will leave, maybe two will leave and there is a possibility that one more could come through the door," Wellens said.
"I think I said there would be three or four in, we've managed to get three in since I've said that so there's potential for one more."
The game against Exeter will see a bumper crowd at the County Ground, and Wellens backed the fans to get behind his side as they have done in recent months.
"When was the last time there was a crowd like this? If you take away play-off games, when was the last time the club had gates like this?
"I said when I walked through the door, this club isn't together and it doesn't feel right and if you don't create an environment for footballers to flourish then you're never going to succeed," revealed Wellens.
"I didn't expect the transition to happen so quickly, it probably took 7 or 8 months for the feel-good factor to start coming."
Injuries have plagued Swindon's squad over the past month, and Swindon will have to make do without Zeki Fryers and Lloyd Isgrove for the visit of Exeter.
"Lloyd travelled Tuesday, after getting a kick against Vale. We took him, but decided in the warm-up he wasn't right, so he couldn't come on and is a doubt for Saturday.
"Zeki's fit. He's trained for the first time today, but he won't be risked. It would be stupid to put someone back in after his last game was a month ago and he's had one training session. We want to keep him fit for the other 15 games."