NOTTS County deserve to win their fight against relegation from League One if their display in their victory over Swindon Town is anything to go by, according to Robins manager Mark Cooper.
Goals from Alan Sheehan and Callum McGregor handed Notts all three points from a turgid game at Meadow Lane on Saturday, as Town ended the match with nine men following the dismissals of Troy Archibald-Henville and Nathan Thompson.
The hosts were much the better side for the majority of the encounter, with Swindon only mustering one shot on target – an 85th-minute effort from range from Alex Pritchard.
The win lifted the Magpies out of the bottom four and, in Cooper’s opinion, that’s where they ought to stay.
He said: “They are fighting for their lives and full credit to them.
“They were right at it today, which is what we expected.
“Full credit to them.
“They deserve on that performance to stay up.
“I didn’t think we produced enough in the final third of the pitch. We never really looked as though we were going to work them enough.
“We played well enough up until the final third but I don’t think we created enough.”
The Meadow Lane pitch was in torrid condition and made no allowance for Swindon’s preferred, passing style of football, but Cooper refused to use the playing surface as a reason for his team’s no-show.
“There’s no excuses with the pitch, the pitch is fine, that’s the way it is and we have to deal with it,” he said.
Pritchard has now returned to parent club Tottenham following his year on loan at the County Ground, and Cooper gave the diminutive playmaker one final word of praise after his last actions in a Swindon shirt.
“Hopefully he might go back to Tottenham next week and get a game in their first team.
“I hope he does,” he said. “He’s a good little player.”