DAVID FLITCROFT had said all the right things in his early interviews since taking over as manager of Swindon Town, and he radiated even more good sense at his official unveiling last week.

Flitcroft’s first signing has been to bring in Ben Futcher as his assistant and defensive coach.

Swindon’s performances in the last couple of seasons sometimes gave the impression that defensive coaching was bypassed under the Luke Williams/Ross Embleton/Tim Sherwood regime, when Swindon fans had to watch through their hands at every free kick in the final third.

Flitcroft recalled his team talk when he brought his Bury side to the County Ground last September to claim all three points.

“The Swindon football philosophy at the time meant that they were very susceptible and far too open,” said Flitcroft. “There was a softness to them defensively.

“I want any team that comes to the County Ground to be in for a tough game. If they get any points here I want them to have earned them rather than be given them.

“Ben worked with me at Bury – he’s 6ft 7in and coming in to work with the defence. He comes from a good footballing family and has good qualifications.”

The press conference came just 48 hours into Flitcroft’s tenure as manager and he asked for patience in his player recruitment. He has only just returned from a family holiday in the States.

One of the phone calls from chairman Lee Power caught him about to board The Incredible Hulk ride in Orlando.

And he admits the first job is to “slow down” any potential outside bids for the players who are out of contract at the end of June but who have been offered new terms.

He has failed to scupper the transfer of Raphael Rossi Branco – a player who fiercely divided opinion among Town fans. He signed for Portugeuse Primeira Liga side Boavista on Friday. Jon Obika has also indicated that he wants to get away.

But rest assured recruitment will now start apace.

“I’ve got eight weeks to build a squad – although I’d like to have them all in tomorrow,” said Flitcroft.

“We have enough young players at the club; now I am looking for experience. I want a committed and experienced spine to the team with depth behind. I want things locked in from the centre of the pitch protecting the centre halves.”

He would not be drawn on whether his new Swindon side, 14-1 fourth favourites to win the league, were good bets.

“I’m not a betting man, I am a stats man, I like to do my homework,” he said.

“We have a lot of work to do to build a squad but ask me again in eight weeks just before the season starts when I have built the squad.”

He did reveal the atmosphere he intends to foster on the training ground.

“I like to set up a competitive environment in training,” he said. “We will get some sponsorship on board to provide prizes at training and I find the players buy into that.

“It will constantly be about challenges. Keeping clean sheets in practice games, scoring the most goals at shooting practice etc.”

And in terms of the chase for players he has been pleasantly surprised at the number of people he knows south of Manchester.

“I have some incredible contacts up north but I have been delighted to receive a number of invitations to visit clubs down here. I will be tapping into them for favours."

The previous regime have failed to organise a single pre-season game but the new boss is on the case.

“I have spoken to Bristol City, Bristol Rovers and Portsmouth about the possibility of a pre-season game," he said. "They are all over-committed already but it might be that we can play a game on a training ground or behind closed doors.”

Chairman Lee Power revealed that Tim Sherwood had gone and with him the director of football role. There would have been no room for that alongside manager Flitcroft, who Power claims will have 'one of the healthiest budgets in this league'.

“I am very hands on,” said Flitcroft, “and I see myself as a people person.

“It’s all about building a structure, which is so important in football and in life. The things I will be looking for from my players above all are hard work, sincerity and honesty.

“For six months while I was out of work, I didn’t feel I was part of football and that is what I wanted again. I had lost that in my life and I was missing the pressure of a match day.”

He was candid too about his exit from Bury in November following an 11-game winless run, having taken them up from League Two in the 2014/15 season.

“My remit at Bury was to turn players into money,” he said. “We built a youth system there and made £2.5m in young players’ sales. I feel I have left a legacy behind there.

“I wanted to stay a bit longer and I could have turned it around.”

Flitcroft will not be uprooting his young family from the north.

“I’ll be getting a place somewhere between Swindon and Oxford and I want to be handy to get to see a lot of U21 and U23 games. I think I know every U23 player out there.

“But I want my three boys to find role models among the Swindon squad.

“We will build a structure but there will be plenty of style to our play, don’t worry.

“My job is to get us out of this league so three points is the thing every game but I want to be playing fast, attacking football.

“Committed performances will win the crowds over and I want to see the County Ground fans fully engaged again.”