RICHIE Wellens believes maintaining his points ratio as manager of Swindon Town will result in promotion for the club this season.

Prior to last Saturday’s 2-0 defeat away at Newport County, Wellens averaged 1.79 points from his 54 League Two games at the helm.

If that record were to be repeated for the remainder of the season, Town would finish on 82 points.

Last term, that would have been enough to see Town back into League One automatically.

However, 82 points has only been enough for a spot in the division’s top three in one of the last five seasons.

Wellens is still confident he can lead his team into the league above this season though as long as his centre backs remain healthy – a positing the 39-year-old labelled as the most important in his team.

Wellens said: “My points ratio was 1.79 in the league before Newport. If you times that by 46 league games, that gives you 82 points.

“What happens if you get 82 points? You get promoted.

“The last two times we’ve lost at home in the league, Baudry goes down injured against Colchester and Conroy goes down after 10 minutes against Newport.

“You cannot afford to lose centre backs. For me, our centre backs are our most important players with the way that we play.

“So we’ve done alright at home since then. If we can keep our defenders on the pitch, hopefully that will continue.”

Wellens’ overall record as manager falls to 1.55 points per game due to an extremely poor record in cup competitions since he took charge.

Just one draw and five defeats in his half-a-dozen cup games has been – by the manager’s own admissions – a result of making too many changes to the starting lien-up, be it enforced or otherwise as league form took priority.

Wellens argued that while on the one hand, the league is the most important format, having a smaller squad is denying the club a chance to go on a much-needed cup run to bring in finances.

He said: “That’s the benefit of a small squad.

“Sometimes, when you have too many players – especially too many players with an ego – and they feel they have to play every minute of every game, that can cause a bit of friction at times.

“On the flip side, we don’t have the squad to pick from in cup games that means we can put out a strong side.

“In the EFL Trophy, look at the teams have picked – it’s been a case of giving people minutes and throwing a team together.”

Turn to pages 38-39 for the full preview on Town v Port Vale.