ALEX Pritchard stressed that Swindon Town must retain their focus for the remaining five matches of the League One campaign despite watching his side’s play-off challenge falter at Carlisle United.

The 1-0 defeat at Brunton Park left the Robins four points off the top six in eighth place, with both Peterborough United and MK Dons boasting better platforms from which to reach the end-of-season lottery.

Pritchard said: “We’ve got a big game against Brentford at the weekend and if we go back to our place and get a result anything can happen. We’ve just got to keep playing the game and keep focused.”

Having been suspended for three games following his red card at Bristol City, Pritchard was named as a substitute on his return to the Town matchday squad in the north west, and he made a major impact after replacing Lee Cox at half-time.

He said: “If I’m on the bench, I’m on the bench – I can’t do anything about that. I got a stupid red card and I was punished for it. Coming off the bench hopefully I made a difference but losing 1-0 makes it disappointing.”

Gary Madine’s strike eight minutes before the break put paid to Town’s hopes of a fifth consecutive game unbeaten in Cumbria, with Pritchard saying: “It’s very disappointing coming all this way and coming back with nothing.

“We had the ball in front and Yaser (Kasim) and Massimo (Luongo) were getting on the ball and I kept trying to drop in because that was where I was getting most of the ball, but they were really deep and the back four was there.

“We were a little vulnerable on the counter attack with (David) Amoo and his pace but it was disappointing not to get anything out of the game.”