Kind words help Town end on a high

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mark Cooper Mark Cooper

SOME “kind words” at half-time from manager Mark Cooper helped Swindon Town end the season on a high note, despite defeat to Rotherham United.

A meek performance in the first half of Saturday’s clash at the County Ground, during which two Wes Thomas goals helped put the visitors out in front, left fans and management disillusioned.

However, Cooper managed to inspire his players to rally after the break, turn the screw on their Yorkshire guests and pull a goal back through Michael Smith’s penalty. Had it not been for Millers goalkeeper Adam Collin, who saved twice from Smith, Town could have claimed the point their second-half performance deserved, and their boss was pleased with their efforts.

He said: “In the first half we didn’t turn up and hopefully that will have taught them a lesson, that if they’re not at it for every minute of every game you get your backsides felt. In the first half we were five yards off, all over the pitch and at this level, when you’re competing against teams like Rotherham, you can’t do it.

“In the second half, after we had a few kind words at half-time, we got the required effort and desire and could have got something out of the game.

“It gives us the impetus and belief for next year but I’m disappointed with the first half because that’s not acceptable. They’ve been made aware of that but the second half was good, just by upping the tempo and getting about the pitch. I thought we controlled large spells of the second half.”

Of Smith, whose spot-kick was his eighth goal for Town since arriving from Charlton Athletic in January, Cooper said: “It’s important that he gets another goal to his tally, his goal tally keeps going for him and I’m sure, once we have a good pre-season – him and a few others – we’ll be even better.”

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