Michael Flynn revealed that he has been given a boost to his defensive options ahead of Swindon Town’s League Two clash with Newport County.

Swindon have been without defender Tom Clayton for the last 11 weeks after he sustained a thigh injury against Swansea City during pre-season, leaving Town with just four senior centre-backs since the injury to Benn Ward in September.

However, Flynn said that after returning to full training at the beginning of this week, Clayton could be in line to play his first competitive match since the final game of last season against Crawley Town.

He said: “Tom Clayton is available; he has had a full week’s training and unless something drastic happens then he will be available.

“[Do you see him as an option in midfield?] Not at the minute, no. Just to be straight with you, I see him as a defender and that is it at the moment.

“Tariq [Uwakwe] had a knock on his foot against Reading, so he is another one that we will assess today, but there is nothing drastic there.”

League Two top goal scorer Jake Young will also be back in contention this week after having to miss out against his parent club Bradford City last weekend.

Flynn said: “It is good, it gives us another option. We had no choice but to start Rush [Rushian Hepburn-Murphy] and Charlie [Austin] on Saturday, not that that is a bad combination.

“We were limited in that and Rush being ill did not help in that.

“With Tom and Jake back in the squad tomorrow, it is looking a lot healthier than it did at this time last week.”

But despite the imminent return of Clayton and Young to the first team picture, Swindon continue to be without Ward and Flynn remains unsure about his return date.

Speaking after defeat against Reading in midweek, Flynn said: “Benn is up with Burnley, he is being assessed by them as well.

“Thankfully there was no tear, so that was the good news, and now we will let Burnley have a really good assessment of him this week and then we will see how it goes from Monday.”

Speaking today, Flynn added: “We haven’t had anything yet. He has been there for the week, so I am sure we will find out more today or over the weekend.”