SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner believes the club’s 11-day break from competitive fixtures has been of great benefit to all inside the County Ground.

Following a 1-0 victory against Newport County in the EFL Trophy on November 9, Town have been able to rest and recuperate over the weekend before returning to the training field to prepare for James Rowberry’s Exiles in League Two action on Saturday.

And with three midweek games in a row coming up before Christmas – added to the busy schedule since everything fell into place at the club in late July – a small recess for both players and staff was exactly what was needed to hit the ground running again, according to Garner.

He said: “The free week has been huge, and having the rest at the weekend was important as well.

“The week before, everyone had a really strong week football-wise either in terms of playing the EFL Trophy game or having a really strong training week.

“We thought it was important to give them a good rest at the weekend, let them go away.

“Mentally as well because it’s been an intense period since we came in two weeks before the start of the season.

“So I think that little mental and physical rest was important before we go to work again. But there has been a great buzz about the group this week and a really good intensity in training.”

After the decision was made to postpone Swindon’s game at home to Crawley Town last weekend due to international call-ups, some were concerned a break might do more harm than good for a team that has only lost once in their past 11.

But Garner does not believe the brief adjournment will have any kind of negative impact as Swindon aim to continue their outstanding away form.

He said: “I don’t think the break (harming momentum) will be an issue.

“It was the right decision not to play the Crawley game and have a rest with too many numbers missing. Why weaken ourselves for that game when we could be full-strength later in the season?

“So it was the right thing to do, and the players have been fantastic this week.

“Even the staff as well – we have really hard-working staff here who do long hours.

“So for them to have a weekend away from football, spend time with their family, and re-charge the batteries – I think that’s just as important as the players.”