NO SECRET hides behind Swindon Town’s noticeable disciplinary record improvement this season, though manager Richie Wellens admits holding more possession has naturally aided his side’s welcome booking lull.

The FA awards teams four points for a yellow card, 10 points for denying a goalscoring opportunity or second bookable offence and 12 points for a straight red card to make up Fair Play tables across all professional and semi-professional leagues in England.

This season, Town are ranked the fourth ‘cleanest’ team in League Two having accumulated 128 points from their first 20 games.

After the same number of games last term, Swindon had clocked 206 points. Remarkably, 128 of those points were registered in the first 10 games.

It is perhaps coincidental that Swindon’s results has improved also – they now sit 11 places higher and have 12 points more compared to the conclusion of the division’s opening 20 game weeks last year.

Nonetheless, Wellens’ different playing style has certainly injected much-needed optimism into the hardiest bunch of Town supporters.

When informed about the above records, Wellens said: “If you’ve got more possession, you don’t have to make as many tackles - so you run less risk of being booked.

“I don’t think there is any explanation, we certainly haven’t worked on it.

“At times, I tell my players to make tactical fouls – which might earn someone a card.

“It’s not something I’ve thought about, my focus is how we can defensively be more organised but also how we can hurt the opposition.

“We want to be aggressive and be in certain players’ faces, at times you need to make certain fouls in certain areas of the pitch to stop counters or teams getting into certain positions.”

It is well-known players receive a one-match suspension after picking up five yellow cards.

However, Town players’ yellow card records were turned back to zero following the conclusion of Town’s one-goal win over Mansfield almost three weeks ago because of the 19-game cut off rule.

Only Jordan Lyden fell victim to the FA’s one-game suspension, while Eoin Doyle and Mathieu Baudry came close to the limit after picking up four yellows.

Wellens did say he stressed the importance of keeping things clean to his key players when close to the limit amid Town’s search for promotion.

He added: “We’ve not got dirty players or anyone who constantly picks up a card.

“I was frustrated with Eoin (Doyle) earlier this season because he picked up a couple of yellows for arguing with referees.

“Those cards ran him close to suspension, so I took him off early against Crawley when the game was won. He lost 10 minutes that day when he could’ve nicked another goal.”