MARK Cooper admits he “probably should” have guided Swindon Town into the Championship as he prepares to take new club Forest Green Rovers to the Energy Check County Ground this afternoon.

Today’s game is the third meeting between the two sides this season, with Cooper having triumphed on his first return to SN1 since his dismissal as Town boss back in December 2015 during a Checkatrade Trophy second round tie last month.

However, this afternoon will mark Cooper’s maiden league fixture back at the home of the club he served as manager for two and a half years.

The 49-year-old led Swindon to a fourth-placed finish in League One in the 2014-15 campaign and they went on to qualify for the play-off final, only to suffer a heavy 4-0 defeat to Preston North End at Wembley.

A host of star names left the club that summer, with Cooper losing his job after a poor start to the subsequent campaign, and the Rovers boss has conceded that it was extremely costly to fail to replace those who moved on.

“It’s not about credit for me, I did the job I was employed to do and that was to promote a group of really young players for the club to sell on and that’s what we did,” said Cooper.

“We probably should have got promoted that year but some things happened and that’s the way it was.

“We sold the players after that for a lot of money but didn’t replace them. If you don’t do that then you know what’s coming.

“I really enjoyed my time at Swindon, it’s a big club and there are some good people there.”

Cooper admits this afternoon’s match has plenty riding on it for both clubs as Town look to push towards the League Two play-off places, while his own side look to boost their survival hopes.

“Swindon is a big club in League Two, a big crowd, big stadium,” said Cooper.

“They will be hoping to get the points to try and get back in the play-off picture and we need the three points for a different reason.”