SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner was full of praise for Hartlepool United on Tuesday night and has backed the Robins’ beaten opponents to recover from their losing slump sooner rather than later.

While Town eventually roared to a 3-1 home success through goals from Jonny Williams, Tyreece Simpson, and Jack Payne, Hartlepool made the hosts sweat with a handful of good chances and a first-half strike being ruled out for offside as well as an effort that crashed back off the bar.

Moments after Matt Daly saw a first-time shot rebound up and out off Jojo Wollacott’s crossbar, the same player made no mistake to equalise and set home nerves jangling again.

However, Town took their chances late on to extend the club’s winning run to five in all competitions and consign the Pools to a fourth straight league defeat.

Garner felt his side was simply more clinical in the end and gave Hartlepool plenty of encouragement for the performance they put in.

He said: “Defensively, I thought they were really organized in their shape.

“I thought their two number 10s had an incredible work rate in the first half especially, they were shuffling across the pitch and trying to get to our center halves when they were stepping out.

“And they try and pass the ball, they try and build their attacks, and they were very good on the counter-attack.

“Full credit to them because I though they came here and put in a good performance. I think if they keep playing like that, they will get some wins and turn their little winless spell around.”

From a Town point of view, the hosts sometimes struggled to keep control of a game they were regularly being tested in.

Garner admitted the areas in which his team played were not always the right ones, and their game management when leading could certainly have improved.

He said: “I wasn’t overly happy with elements of the game management in the second half. It was disappointing to go ahead and then concede quite quickly to let them back in the game.

“I thought about changing shape at 1-0 to give us a little bit more control in midfield – I felt we were just a little bit open in there.

“But when we went 2-1 up we did make that change, and I thought that helped to make us a lot more secure then. It was great to get the third goal and kill the game off.”