Cooper forced to focus on play-offs
SWINDON Town boss Mark Cooper admitted his team’s automatic promotion chances are as good as over after they suffered a shock defeat against relegated Yeovil.
On a day when MK Dons thrashed Leyton Orient, the Robins were wasteful in front of goal after dominating possession and territory throughout.
Yeovil scored from a rare attack in the second half when James Berrett beat Wes Foderingham from the edge of the penalty area.
And after Swindon saw Ben Gladwin hit the post and a Michael Smith effort deflected on to the crossbar, Cooper insisted Town must now focus on the play-offs despite still harbouring a mathematical chance of finishing second.
He said: “We can’t afford to be that sloppy in the final third of the pitch. We’ve picked a bad time to fluff our chance.
“But we know what we’ve got to do now.We know where we are and we’ve got to get everyone rested up because our chance will come through the play-offs.
“We have to try to remain calm. There’s a lot of frustration about, none more so than myself and the players, but we’ve got to come back to training and make sure we get things right and fresh for the play-offs.
“We need to go into those games in good spirit and good form. Football’s a strange game and sometimes when you think you have an opening it’s slammed in your face.”
Swindon had a great chance early in the game when Nathan Byrne’s cross presented Jon Obika with an open goal, but the striker’s shot hit the side-netting.
Gladwin was next to threaten as his curling shot rattled the post, while Obika also headed wide.
But on 58 minutes it was Yeovil who went ahead as Berrett’s shot from 25 yards beat Foderingham at his near post. Swindon continued to pour forward but were unable to find a goal, their closest attempt coming when Smith’s shot was cleared to safety by Josh Sheehan via the crossbar.
Yeovil are now unbeaten in three games under new manager Paul Sturrock and have won two games in a row against teams in the play-off positions in Sheffield United and Swindon.
Sturrock said: “I'm very pleased.
“We worked hard on our system to combat Swindon’s strengths and we defended very well.
“We knew we would have to hit them on the counter-attack and in the second half we managed to do that with James’ goal.
“The boys were a bit low on confidence but so far we've managed to cut down their mistakes and the results have improved.”
STAR MAN BEN GLADW