SWINDON Town boss David Flitcroft says his players looked off the pace in their 2-1 defeat at the hands of Accrington Stanley on Tuesday night.

Due to their previous encounter being called off in December, Town were forced to accommodate the fixture in the middle of what was already a tricky period.

With long trips to both Lincoln City and Stanley in their last two games, Flitcroft says that could be one of the reasons his side got off to a sluggish start but has been quick to warn his players that their schedule is not an excuse for them to underperform.

“Possibly the Lincoln game might have taken a lot out of them but there is no excuse,” he said. “We knew we had the game and we prepared for the game.

“I didn’t feel the energy was there first half, it just seemed a little bit pedestrian and we didn’t really have that aggression.

“We started well in the first 10 minutes but the goal gave Accrington momentum and something to hang on to and allowed them to get a foothold in the game in the first half.”

Midfield loan duo Timi Elsnik and Ollie Banks have featured heavily since the former returned from injury and the latter signed for the club and Flitcroft admits the pair failed to live up to their performance at Lincoln, in which they both scored, in the North on Tuesday.

But he insists there is no time to dwell on the defeat as his side have another tough fixture in the shape of Mansfield Town at the Energy Check County Ground on Saturday.

“Timi and Banksy covered so much ground on Saturday, they couldn’t really repeat that and when you are tired and fatigued you do lack that little bit of quality that we have been showing recently,” he added.

“It (Accrington) was a game where there wasn’t really many chances created but I didn’t feel the lads deserve to lose.

“We score a lot of goals and they do too but it didn’t seem like one of those games – I think we probably nullified each other.

“These have never been defining games for me as there is so much football to play. We will shake ourselves down and look forward to the game on Saturday.”