SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner believes his team should be free of rust and ready to make a fast start at home to Hartlepool United on Tuesday night.

Following 11 days without a game for some of his players – and potentially 14 for others – Town returned to action with a battling 2-1 victory away at Newport County on Saturday thanks to Jack Payne’s 88th-minute goal.

Despite the euphoria at the full-time whistle, Town were second best for occasional periods of the League Two encounter – particularly in the first 45.

Garner suggested his team’s clunky start against Newport could have been down to a lack of recent action, but believes Town should be firing on all cylinders now the cobwebs have been removed.

He said: “It’s great to win games whenever we do it.

“It was a fantastic result on Saturday, but the focus is now on Tuesday night against Hartlepool and we’re looking to get another three points to help us push higher up that league table.

“Having that break was the right thing to do, and it does take time to get going again.

“Some of the players played last Tuesday, and some only played on the Saturday before so it was two weeks without a game for them.

“To have the rest and come back to get the result on Saturday before this run of games is perfect really. I’m sure we can push on in the next two performances.”

Town are set to take on a Hartlepool side which has endured a cluster of mixed results since ex-manager Dave Challinor left to take over Stockport County at the beginning of November.

Garner says his team will pay no attention to any potential instability surrounding the Pools and Town’s aim is simply to meet the standards they expect of themselves.

Garner said: “They’re a good side. They had a disappointing result from their point of view on Saturday at home to Forest Green, but the game before against Newport was a really good game, a really tight game.

“Newport ended up winning the game in injury time, but there was nothing in the game and Hartlepool were unfortunate to lose that.

“They had a really good result at Wycombe in the FA Cup last Tuesday too, so we know how capable they can be.

“They’ve got some good players in their squad, they try to play and build through the pitch, so we know we’re going to have to perform to our levels to get a result.”