PHIL Brown admits new recruits Martin Smith and Luke McCormick will have to prove some doubters wrong after the pair signed one-year deals with Swindon Town on Saturday morning.

Smith and McCormick were revealed as Town’s latest signings alongside Fulham’s Elijah Adebayo, who joins on loan from the Premier League club, prior to the club’s latest pre-season friendly against Melksham Town.

Smith turned down four offers in Ireland while McCormick’s arrival at the County Ground follows his release from League One outfit Plymouth Argyle, for whom he made more than 300 appearances.

Despite Smith’s release from Sunderland in 2016, the club where Brown first became familiar with the midfielder, the Town boss believes the 22-year-old can shine in League Two – though admits he will have to relax if he’s to play his best football.

“It will be a tough season next year for Martin, he has his doubters,” said Brown.

“But what he’s done in this trial period has more than impressed me.

“He’s a leader of men, he can play – there’s no doubt about it. He’s probably been trying too hard in our two games, but when he relaxes and grabs a hold of a game we’ll see the best of him.

“He had four offers in Ireland because of what he did at Coleraine last year, and he wanted to put those offers on hold so he could trial with us.

“That for me spoke volumes about the lad. He wants to get back into English football and ply his trade in our leagues.

“Martin adds to that midfield berth we’re a little short on – we need a definitive number four. Maybe I’ll move on that before I get to the centre-halves.”

McCormick rebuilt his football career by playing for Truro City, Oxford United and Plymouth Argyle having served a jail sentence for causing death by dangerous driving in 2008 and the Town boss revealed he has already had a deep conversation with the club’s new stopper about his past.

“Everybody brings a package to a football club and I sympathise with anyone that makes a mistake in their life,” said Brown.

“I understand what has happened beforehand and I take the view that it takes a lot of people to take time to forgive.

“That level of forgiveness varies from one man or woman to the next.

“When I spoke to Luke I had a very deep conversation about what he had done and there was lots to admire about how he’s gone about his rehabilitation and how he’s trying to integrate himself back into the society where he did belong.

“By whatever rules and regulations we live our lives, he has served his time.

“I’m forgiving, but I’m not forgetting and I understand people will take it differently, but I’m looking at the footballer – not the person that’s made a mistake.”