SWINDON Town head coach Ben Garner believes Harry McKirdy’s hot form is down to an increase in maturity levels on the pitch.

The 24-year-old played a part in all three Swindon goals during the victory over his former club Port Vale last Saturday – taking McKirdy’s combined number of goals and assists to 20 in all competitions.

Having also avoided a yellow card for the fifth game in a row – one which would have taken McKirdy to within one of a two-game suspension – Garner believes the club’s top goalscorer has taken on board advice given to him regarding controlling his enthusiasm for the game.

The Town boss was delighted to see his talisman sign a new contract with the County Ground club recently and reflected on one of the 24-year-old’s best weeks of the season.

On McKirdy, Garner said: “He’s had a really good week. But not just this week, I think he’s having a really good period as well.

“He’s maturing as a player, he’s controlled in terms of his mentality – he didn’t let it get to him in regard to being a former player against Port Vale. He let his football do the talking, and that’s what we want from him.

“That’s an on-going process with Harry, he’s a wonderful talent, a great guy, and we’re delighted to have him here for the foreseeable future as well. We’re really pleased with him overall at the moment.”

Another Swindon player to receive public praise from his head coach at the weekend was Ben Gladwin.

Although fans are not copying his modest celebration down supermarket aisles, as they have been doing with McKirdy, Gladwin’s efforts did not go unnoticed by Garner or the 750 fans who travelled up to Vale Park last Saturday.

The Town head coach felt Gladwin’s contribution from the penalty spot was most important of all, but noted his passing and general leadership skills helped to secure three points against Port Vale too.

Of Gladwin, Garner said: “He was outstanding against Port Vale.

“His understanding of the game and his tactical intelligence was brilliant, and his use of the ball was very, very good.

“He was really composed with his penalty, which was really important at that stage of the game. And he put in a strong performance, defensively.

“He’s an important guy in our dressing room, he’s an important guy in our leadership group, and a really talented player who can hopefully have a really strong second half of the season for us.”