SWINDON Town under 18s manager David Farrell watched his side qualify for the Academy Merit League with ease last weekend following a 3-0 victory at home to Newport County.

Toby Holland, Sonny Haynes and Harry Parsons netted a goal apiece during a busy first half before the Town squad relaxed in the second 45, much to the annoyance of their manager.

Though keen to see his young players develop good habits before a potential leap into the professional game, Farrell said it was perhaps inevitable that his players relaxed after taking a three-goal lead into half-time against the worst team in the division.

He said: “It was too easy at times, but we wanted the players to push themselves hard regardless of who we were playing.

“We got into a quick three-goal lead, and then inevitably took our foot off the gas in the second half.

“We probably started developing some bad habits, but at this age you want them to be pushing hard all the time regardless of what is going on in the game.

“But it’s a learning process for them and a win is a win.”

Now with a significant break before the Merit League starts in mid-February, Farrell said he will use the time to analyse where individuals can potentially grow their game in the second half of the season.

He said: “I’ll go through my own review of how the season has gone so far rather than just looking at the last couple of the weeks.

“We’ve got a few weeks off now, and that gives a chance to take stock and have a break – which is quite rare in football.”

“It gives me a real chance to properly analyse different players and look at where we can improve individually when the Merit League starts in a few weeks’ time.”