OUT-OF-CONTRACT Alex Smith has given Swindon Town manager Mark Cooper “something to think about” with a superb return to the Robins side after six months out through injury.

The versatile former Fulham man began the season in the Robins’ starting line-up but, after being forced off during the Capital One Cup victory at QPR in August, underwent knee surgery before embarking on the long road back to full fitness.

He came off the bench during the goalless draw at Bristol City, started the 1-0 home victory over Preston North End and scored a stunning opener as the Robins won 2-1 at Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday night, giving Cooper plenty to contemplate as he considers whether or not to extend Smith’s stay in Wiltshire.

The 22-year-old’s one-year deal expires this summer, and Cooper told the Advertiser: “With Alex, he started the season quite well so we do know he’s a good footballer.

“He can run, he’s energetic and he can score goals as well. He’s give us something to think about, definitely.

“I think there are one or two who have come to the fore.

“Maybe a month ago you were thinking ‘I’m not sure if we’re going to keep them’ but following their performances you think ‘they can probably help us next year’.”

Cooper is keen to run the rule over a number of ‘fringe’ players whose contracts expire on June 30 during the final seven games of the season but he conceded, with his team in form, it will be hard to drop anyone to accommodate such a scenario.

“We have to pick the right times and the right games,” he said.

“We’ve got Connor Waldon who has done particularly well and we have to make a decision on him shortly. We probably have to put him in the team to make sure we make the right one.”