TRANMERE manager Nigel Adkins remained philosophical about his side’s performance and the lessons his side would learn despite their 3-1 defeat at Swindon Town.

Rushian Hepburn-Murphy’s double ended the Robins’ five-match winless run.

Following an opening 20 minutes desperately low on quality, Sean McGurk added some. He got the ball in the box, sold the defender with a dummy and then stuck his shot beyond Luke McGee.

Tranmere did not need long to respond as a block fell to Rob Apter on the edge of the area and he drilled an effort first time into the bottom corner.

Swindon took their lead back as Udoka Godwin-Malife threaded a pass through the defence from inside his own half and Hepburn-Murphy exploded onto it, rounded the goalkeeper and tucked home the finish.

The 25-year-old had his second after the break when he galloped beyond the defence and a fine ball through and tucked his shot beyond the goalkeeper.

Adkins said: “We started very brightly and were very good.

“We responded well to their goal, got ours and had a couple of other good chances. We had some good spells. At times we had a lot of the ball and created some good situations.

“We were probably too open for their second goal and the third was good counter-attacking football, but there were two exceptional passes they played for those goals.

“For some of the young players, it was a good opportunity and it was a good one for me to utilise the squad. I’ll watch the game back in the cold light of day to see what we can learn from it.

“We’re constantly learning. We’ve proved we can do it, so we now have to go and show it on a consistent basis.”

Tranmere have now lost six of their last nine games following a great run of form over Christmas and the New Year which saw them lose just one in 11.

"We've tried to do the same thing and be consistent but sometimes it's been fine margins in a couple of those games that we've lost," added Adkins, whose side takes on struggling Sutton at home on Saturday.

"As we've done all season we're looking at the next game - there are 11 games left and every game counts, every game matters. We have to look to go and win and everyone is staking a claim for their place in the team. 

"Sutton is a game that we know will be very competitive having watched them but we've proved we can do it."