THE return of former Swindon Town players Paul Mullin and Ollie Banks to the County Ground this afternoon is of little importance to manager Phil Brown, who insists his side are ready for the challenge.

Mullin and Banks were two of the 11 players Brown parted after taking the reins earlier this year as the 59-year-old sought to stamp his own mark on the club.

While aware of the threats both players and Tranmere Rovers as a team will bring, Brown insists his men are more than aware of the strengths and weaknesses of today’s opposition.

He said: “It’s an early reunion. Paul (Mullin) will probably have a point to prove.

“He gave me his all during our time working together. He puts a shift in and might start on Saturday.

“Micky Mellon (manager) might see a return to the County Ground as a motivator to select him.

“Ollie Banks has been playing on a regular basis. But it doesn’t matter if either of them play.

“We know their strengths and we know their weaknesses.”

The Town boss has been boosted by news from the treatment room this week that experienced forward Marc Richards is available for selection while James Dunne’s three-match suspension ended on Tuesday night after Town were knocked out of the Carabao Cup by Forest Green Rovers.

Both players – who can boast just shy of 1,000 competitive games between them – may have a positive impact on Town’s scoring credentials when moving forward, arguably one of the biggest criticisms to be raised by fans this season to date.

“The experience of those two players (Richards and Dunne) in particular has an impact,” said Brown.

“Hopefully James has learnt his lesson after being sent off in the closing minutes of last season. That did him and me no favours.

“But he’s been pushing for a start – he got a bonus 70 minutes against Chelsea in the Chekcatrade Trophy and a full pre-season under his belt.

“He’s knocking at the door for a starting spot.

“When I came to the club, everyone was telling me James was a number four.

“But different managers see players differently. I see him as a man that can play in the final third – an eight or a 10.

“I see him as an attacking midfielder, and if he can add goals to his game then he’s got the experience to earn double figures from midfield.”