MASSIMO Luongo revealed he was unable to conceal a “cheeky smile” when he was named Swindon Town captain by manager Mark Cooper on Saturday.

The Australian skippered the Robins against Rotherham United in the absence of Nathan Thompson through suspension and led by example with a man-of-the-match performance.

Afterwards, he said taking on the armband was “a privilege”, adding: “I was quite happy with it. The gaffer didn’t tell me before or anything, he just named the team and said ‘Mass is captain’. I had a cheeky smile on my face but I was happy to do it.

“I’m not necessarily one to shout and scream but if I can lead in other ways, whether that’s the way I play, driving with the ball, maybe that’s what he sees. I was happy to, especially in the last game, following Nathan Thompson and Ward. It was a privilege.”

Town were beaten by two Wes Thomas goals, the first after 52 seconds, as a decent second-half display could make up for an abject first half-hour.

Luongo said: “For about 30 minutes we looked asleep. I wouldn’t say all of us, some of the boys put a shift in, but you need the whole team to be performing, especially with the way we play.

“We came in at half-time, the gaffer said a few words and everyone spoke up a little bit and we didn’t want to go into the end of the season on a bad note, especially with a home game. I think we proved to everyone that we mean business for next season.”

Reflecting on the League One season in general, Luongo was content with an eighth-placed finish.

“Seventh would have been nice but coming into the season everyone didn’t have a pre-season,” he said. “Some boys didn’t come in until a week before the season started. I’d say it’s a developing season with us. I’m quite pleased with the end result.”