A MENTALITY shift must be avoided if Swindon Town are to continue their improved run of form and boost chances of reaching the play-offs, according to defender Ali Koiki.

Town travel west to face Newport County this evening (7.45pm) knowing defeat could drop them seven points short of the play-off frame with only five fixtures remaining.

Earning three points is therefore at the forefront of Koiki’s mind, who has settled into life at SN1 well after joining Richie Wellens’ side on loan from Burnley at the start of the January transfer window.

His versatile defensive role has undoubtedly aided Town’s threat on the left side – with Koiki’s opposite number Kyle Knoyle adopting a similar role on the right side of the pitch.

Town’s lacklustre second-half display against Yeovil cost the club two points in the League Two play-off race and Koiki admits changing the club’s mentality off the back of Saturday’s frustrating draw would be the worst thing that could happen to the squad.

He said: “We have to stick to our same mentality, which we have used in our last few games and has brought us positive results.

“We’d expect the results to come through if we do that. We were disappointed about Saturday (against Yeovil), we’ve got to step it up tonight against Newport.”

The 19-year-old has made four successive appearances for Town, playing 10 games in total following his debut against Lincoln in mid-January.

Parent club Burnley continue to keep a close eye on the hot prospect. But all of that is irrelevant for the teenager, who stated propelling Town into the end-of-season play-offs is his one goal at this moment in time.

He added: “First team football is benefitting my own game, I’m learning every minute really – that learning does not stop. It’s important to get your head down and keep your mind focused on things.

“Burnley are keeping one eye on me, but I’m focused on my job here. Whatever happens gets fed back to them so they can keep track of my progress. But they will make the final decision on my progress.”