LUKE Williams has vowed not to stop in his mission to instil the mental strength required in his Swindon Town squad for their increasingly desperate battle against relegation.

Town’s run of five defeats on the spin has left them in a precarious position, to the point that not even victory over Oldham at the County Ground tomorrow will lift them out of the drop zone, and with mental frailties coming to the fore again during Tuesday’s 2-1 reverse at Northampton, they are running out of time to turn things around.

But that is not deterring Williams, who believes he has the players in the changing room that can step up to the plate and become leaders in the most testing of times.

“You have to try. That’s all you can do,” he said.

“It’s irretrievable if you don’t try – that’s for sure.

“If you don’t push the players to be stronger people and to grow up and be men, then of course, it’s impossible, but we’re not quitting and we don’t want to stop pushing the players.

“We have (got enough men) if they step up.

“I’m doing my job and I will continue to do my job until I’m told otherwise.”

February was always going to be a pivotal period in Town’s bid to maintain their League One status and, having failed to pick up a single point from the first three games of the month, the pressure is on Williams’ side, who sit in 22nd and four points adrift of safety, to record a victory against fellow strugglers Athletic at the County Ground.

The first cracks seemed to appear in what has been a united front up until now on Tuesday at Northampton, with striker Jermaine Hylton leaving Sixfields before kick-off after discovering he wasn’t part of the matchday squad and players seemingly sniping at each other in what turned out to be a frustrating night at Sixfields.

However, Williams is adamant that there is no discontent in the dressing room and any signs of vexation on the pitch are simply the players trying to put things right.

“If I’m honest, I think – if you can take my word for it – it’s much more the players really trying to drive each other on,” he added.

“There’s no fighting.

“I’ve been in many changing rooms where the players are trying to swing punches at each other and that type of thing, but this group are trying to get after each other, as we say in football, and really get the most out of each other.

“I’m sure there’s the odd comment that people reject but most of it is through a desire for the team to do well.”

Meanwhile, Town’s director of football Tim Sherwood has been charged by the Football Association over remarks made to a match official during the 1-0 defeat at Bury last Saturday.

Sherwood faces an FA rap over remarks made to an official during half-time of Town’s 1-0 defeat at Gigg Lane last Saturday and has until 6pm on Monday to respond to the charge.

A Swindon Town statement said yesterday: “We’re aware of the charges and are in communication with the FA.

“We’ll be dealing with it internally.”