SWINDON Town require maximum points from their remaining five matches if they are to reach the League One play-offs, according to manager Mark Cooper.
Town remain four points off the top six after losing 1-0 to Carlisle United on Saturday, while MK Dons overtook the Robins into seventh spot in the table with their win at Coventry City at the weekend.
With Peterborough United still holding a game in hand over their rivals in sixth, the task in front of Cooper and his players is now mammoth and the Swindon boss believes nothing but five wins out of five will enable his team to challenge for a spot in the end-of-season lottery.
“We have to win five games. You win five games and you get in the play-offs, I think, it doesn’t matter what order they come in. We keep going.
“As I’ve said all along, I’m not worried about favours and everybody else, we’ve just got to do what we need to do and we need to win games. We haven’t won one today.
“Every game is tough. You come to Carlisle and they’re fighting for their lives – you see that at the end – but we won’t beat anybody if we finish things off like that.
“Peterborough are ahead of us, MK Dons are in it now so you never know.”
Having been written off by many fans and pundits four weeks ago, the fact the play-offs continue to be mooted in conversation around the club is an achievement in itself.
When Cooper was asked by the Advertiser whether he was now sick of hearing the P-word, he said: “I’d rather be talking about that than relegation.”
Alex Pritchard returned from suspension at Brunton Park and made a major impact as a half-time substitute, and Cooper felt the on-loan midfielder and Nathan Byrne – who replaced Nathan Thompson in the 65th minute – both added impetus to Swindon’s performance.
He said: “At half-time we felt we needed a little bit more drive – we kept the ball nicely but didn’t really create anything.
“We got that drive, we made two early substitutions and I thought that worked and we totally dominated the second half.
“You’re always confident when you’ve got people like Pritch in the team, who can come up with a goal.
“Nathan Byrne had a great effort that’s going in and gets blocked but we have to be better than that.”