Wanderers make the trip down the M4 this evening (Tuesday) to take on Sky Bet League 1 side Swindon Town in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Southern Area quarter-finals (k.o 7.45pm).
Blues drew 1-1 with Swindon’s divisional rivals Crewe Alexandra in an entertaining FA Cup first-round tie last Saturday, and have saved some of their best performances so far this season for the knock-out competitions - beating Exeter City and Bristol City to reach this stage.
for the win over Bristol City.here for highlights of the Exeter tie and hereClick
The Robins come into the game on the back of a 4-0 mauling at Skrill Premier outfit Macclesfield Town and boss Mark Cooper has said that the squad will reimburse all those who travelled.
Despite that setback, Swindon have enjoyed a promising start to the campaign and sit a place outside of the play-offs due to Bradford City’s superior goal difference.
“They'll take some severe rollickings from their manager and their tails will be up because they'll have to put that right on Tuesday.
“I've just said to the boys the odds are we might not lift the FA Cup. We've got slimmer odds to lift the Johnstone's Paint Trophy, so let's give it a real go.
“Every cup competition, every game, I'll take seriously. I want to give Swindon a real go and hopefully progress to the semis in that.
“I have got a squad who want to take this competition seriously. They want to get to the semi-finals and we'll be doing all we can.
“It'll be an interesting one, it'll be a test for us and a character builder for the players. But I'm confident. I believe we can beat anyone and on our day I think we can.”
“We’ve done a lot of soul-searching, there have been a lot of questions about how a team can go from very, very good against Port Vale to being as bad as they were seven days later, having trained exactly the same.
“It was the same team apart from one player, the same system and it’s difficult. We’re trying to figure out where and why it went wrong.
“We can’t concede goals like we do. No matter how badly you play you should always be in the game and the way we conceded the goals on Saturday didn’t give ourselves the chance to even get a replay.
“We just totally capitulated by giving ridiculous goals away. We keep putting ourselves in a position where we need a reaction because we win at home and go away and lose, or we win one and we think we’ve cracked it and then we lose a couple more away from home.
“Straight away the players are putting themselves under pressure to have a reaction and win again. There has to be a reaction in terms of a performance and the way they apply themselves.”
Wanderers are boosted by the return from suspension of midfielder Josh Scowen, who missed Saturday’s FA Cup tie through suspension. Matt Bloomfield sits out the final game of his three-match ban, while Paris Cowan-Hall is a doubt after being replaced at half-time against Crewe because of a calf injury.
Cooper could be without as many as 12 of his squad, including midfielder Ryan Mason who underwent a scan on an ankle injury he picked up against Macclesfield. Wes Foderingham, Nathan Thompson, Miles Storey, Alex Smith and Tijane Reis are also not expected to feature, while Troy Archibald-Henville is set for an extended spell on the sidelines after a knee operation.
If the game ends as a draw after 90 minutes then it will immediately go to a penalty shootout – there is no extra-time.
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