DAVID Flitcroft says he is learning more about the characteristics of his Swindon Town squad as he looks to end their toughest run of the campaign with victory in tonight’s Checkatrade Trophy second round clash at home to Forest Green Rovers.

Town fell to a third defeat on the bounce for the first time in Flitcroft’s tenure as manager on Saturday when they crashed out of the FA Cup in a heavy 5-2 reverse in the second round at Stevenage.

Flitcroft’s troops had fallen to consecutive League Two defeats away at Grimsby Town and at home to Newport County before that.

Swindon enjoyed a seven-match unbeaten run – six of which were victories – prior to the current losing streak so although the Town chief is not too despondent, he is still desperate for a response from his side at the Energy Check County Ground this evening.

“We have got another really important game on Tuesday and I want a reaction, I want to see this group of players react,” said Flitcroft.

“You do learn more about the team when it gets beat, I do believe that.

“The last three games we have got beat and now I am learning about this team and the players and it’s up to me now to make sure we lift the group and we get some solidity in the team and we start winning again.

“You have always got to see the bigger picture but we have got to address the slide.

“It was a long 10 days from Grimsby to Newport to Stevenage. The two defeats in the league hurt me but the FA Cup one has hurt because it is a knockout competition – that’s what left a real bad taste in the mouth.”

Flitcroft admits the fact tonight’s game takes place on home turf is a welcome bonus, with Town having looked destined to face a trip to Luton Town instead.

With Swindon having won two of three group games, they were left waiting on the outcome of West Ham United U21s’ final pool game away at Wycombe Wanderers last Tuesday to see who would finish top of Southern Group C.

With that game taking place after the draw for the second round, it was already known that the winners of the group would host Forest Green whereas the runners-up would travel to Luton.

Flitcroft therefore admitted it was something of an unexpected treat when he discovered Wycombe had done Town a favour by denying the Hammers a clean sweep of group stage wins.

“I was at a fans forum last Tuesday night when the result came in, with Wycombe beating West Ham 2-0, which was what they had to,” said Flitcroft.

“We were definitely planning for Luton. We had already planned it logistically and geographically pre-match, we had already sorted it.

“It is a welcome one, certainly with cutting down the travel.”