SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner said he sensed Romoney Crichlow's exit coming and decided to prioritise the team's needs after it became apparent the defender would be unlikely to finish the season at the County Ground.

Crichlow, who featured 24 times for Swindon while scoring twice, was recalled by parent club Huddersfield Town on Thursday - midway through a seasong-long loan deal.

Garner revealed that while there was official contact in midweek, he was led to believe the deal would occur following the Robins’ 5-2 victory over Northampton Town on New Year’s Day.

The Town boss went on to say that Crichlow turned down offers from two League One clubs before agreeing to test himself further with a move to the Pilgrims.

Garner said: “We only had contact from Huddersfield a couple of days ago. But football is a small world, and I had an inclination probably 10 days ago or so that other clubs were interested in Rom and trying to speak to him.

“He did great for us in the first part of the season. Unfortunately, he picked up an injury and then got Covid.

“Post-Christmas, once I had that inclination that there would be a chance he would be going, I felt it right to prioritise the players that I knew were going to be here for the rest of the season.

"He’s got great ability, Rom, he’s had a really successful loan period here.

"In some ways, I think we’ve been the victims of our own success. We’ve said we’d take these young players, we said we would play and develop them. That’s happened with Rom and Kaine [Kesler-Hayden], Jojo is away representing his country off the back of coming here and doing well.

"In a lot of ways, it’s fantastic. It’s just changed our picture a little bit in terms of recruitment because all of the noises going into Christmas was that these players would remain here. But that’s football, things change. We’ve got back-up plans, and we’ll move onto those."