SWINDON Town manager Richie Wellens says his team must continue to manage games properly if they are not to drop points from winning positions this season.

Town raced into a three-goal lead before half-time against Rochdale on Saturday before a scrappy second half that frustrated the visitors blunted any chance of a comeback.

Swindon had previously been accused of being quite naïve in terms of managing matches they were winning, however, the opening day win against Rochdale showed Town are learning from previous mistakes, according to Wellens.

The Town boss was delighted with his team’s ability to win fouls, take their time over restarts, and keep hold of possession – something that had been worked on in the build up to the new season.

Wellens said: “We’ve been talking to the players about game management all week.

“We were 3-0 up in the 43rd minute and then Zeki (Fryers) chips a free-kick into Rob Hunt in the middle of the pitch and we end up giving the ball away.

“They switch it to their right winger, and we give a free-kick away – then the ball is in our box in just before half-time, and we don’t want that.

“So we wanted the players to improve on that in the second half on Saturday, and I thought our game management at times was really good.”

Town went ahead after just four minutes on Saturday, allowing the team to settle into a rhythm early on and force their game plan onto visiting Rochdale.

Wellens said scoring first is not as important with no crowd, therefore a team’s ability to frustrate their opposition will be more important than ever for the time being.

He said: “I don’t like doing it (game management), because it’s not a tactic that I really want to use, but because of these situations where the ball goes out of play and the ball boys have to find it because there’s no crowd, it’s quite easy to slow the tempo of the game down.

“I would imagine that when supporters are allowed back in, the first goal will be huge because you don’t really want to be chasing games.

But against Rochdale, our game management really pleased me.”