DARREN Ward does not think last night’s 2-0 defeat to Banbury United will have those associated with Swindon Town leaning for the panic button.

The Robins were beaten by goals from Luke Craig and Albi Skendi at the Spencer Stadium on a poor pitch, as Kevin MacDonald chopped and changed his side to give the majority of his first-team squad and half the Town youth team some gametime.

Ward, who captained Swindon in the first half, stressed that the match was purely a fitness exercise and that the result should not be pondered over too long.

“I don’t think anyone will, there was half the youth team out there,” he told the Advertiser. “I think anyone who does that is exaggerating it. It’s pre-season, it’s about getting the fitness levels up.

“If that happens again at the beginning of the season then you could say that but I don’t think it will at all.

“It’s a pre-season game, it’s a good run-out. We’ve had a really hard week, we trained this morning and there’s another game Tuesday and I’m sure they’ll be many changes again.

“It is what it is. It’s a fitness test to get our fitness up and get ready for the start of the season.

“I’ve played on better but I’m sure everyone would admit to that. It’s not really the pitch you want to be playing on in pre-season but you’ve got to deal with it.

“We agreed to play this game so we had to get on with it.”