SWINDON Town manager Phil Brown has prioritised the fitness levels of his squad following tonight’s 3-1 win away at Cirencester Town in their opening pre-season friendly of the summer.

Goals from two trialists and Keshi Anderson were enough to see Brown’s troops through their opening pre-season test at the Corinium Stadium as 24 players – including eight trialists – took to the field.

Brown fielded a different XI for each half, with Anderson and James Dunne linking up particularly well during the concluding 45 minutes.

And it was the aggressive movement of Dunne and Anderson that impressed Brown, who admitted he was more excited by the second-half display – despite that 45 minute period ending 1-1 following Aidan Bennett’s late effort for the hosts.

“I like a 4-3-3 – I would play two strikers down the middle if the signings we make dictate,” said Brown.

“Keshi (Anderson) played the number nine role in the second half.

“I was more excited by the movement in the second half, yet we drew that half 1-1 and won the first half 2-0.

“There are arguments for and against. But there are arguments in the second half that everyone was moving towards the ball and everyone was attracted to the ball instead of stretching the game.”

Lawrence Vigouroux lined up in goal for Town, with Stuart Moore – who the Advertiser understands is unlikely to feature in Brown’s squad this season – a notable absentee.

In his place came former Plymouth Argyle stopper Luke McCormick, who played the duration of the second half.

Increasing fitness levels from being capable of 45 minutes of play to 60 minutes is Brown’s objective over the next few days as they prepare for their second pre-season fixture away against Melksham Town on Saturday (11.30am).

Brown said: “Fitness levels are very good at the moment.

“We came back a little bit earlier than other teams. A lot of teams in our division or the next two above didn’t get back into training until Monday.

“We’re 10 days in now, and I think you could tell that. I expected that level of fitness from our boys.

“I’m not bothered about results in pre-season, I never am. You’ll get that level of consistency from any post-match talk.

“All I’m bothered about is to get a fully-fit squad come the first game of the season.

“For trialists, it was more the intense part. I was fully relaxed on the sideline because I wanted to see players perform.

“The teams were in thirds – trialists, players we had last season and youngsters.

“All three groups impressed sufficiently for them to be around for the Melksham game. After that, we’ll make a call on the trialists and a call on the younger lads and if they come to Spain with us.”