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League One

John McMahon: Tranmere Rovers must keep faith

26 March 2014

Tranmere Rovers' interim-manager John McMahon is urging his troops to keep the faith after a 2-1 defeat to Swindon Town edged them closer to the relegation zone.

Although Max Power cancelled out Alex Smith's opener with his first goal of the season, Swindon left Prenton Park with all three points thanks to Miles Storey's second-half strike.

Storey's winner came from a cross-cum-shot that looped home from an acute angle, while Tranmere saw Ash Taylor, Ryan Lowe and Jake Cassidy all go close.

Luck was not on Rovers' side and they now sit outside the relegation zone only by goal difference, but McMahon is not about to hit the panic button.

"It's tough," he said. "There's only so many times you can keep saying well done and telling the players to keep going.

"We will come back in Thursday, dust ourselves down and then it's up to me and my staff to motivate the players, but that's my job so it won't be a problem.

"It's about keeping the belief. Obviously confidence is fragile, but how do you get confidence? By winning games.

"We can't seem to just get it over the line at the moment, but we've got to just keep believing. We've shown character.

"We finished the game with seven attacking players on the pitch. I think that shows we are trying to do things right, I don't know what else you can do really."

Smith's thunderbolt flew in off the crossbar to hand Swindon the lead before Power turned home Liam Ridehalgh's pass in an entertaining first 15 minutes.

Tranmere then looked more likely to score only for them to be hit by Storey's suckerpunch after 68 minutes, although Robins boss Mark Copper felt his side fully deserved their victory.

"We showed desire, energy and no small matter of some good football," Cooper said.

"If you put those three things together then you've always got the chance of winning the game.

"We didn't play too well in the first half and we had a few choice words at the half-time, but other than the first few minutes of the first half I thought we played well.

"We just needed to do a bit better with the ball and stop trying our best to give Tranmere a lift, which we did on numerous occasions, but in the second half I thought we controlled the possession.

"I said all along when people mooted that the play-offs were gone, myself included, that we just wanted to finish the season strongly.

"We've played the last three games and got seven points, but the aim is still to finish the season strongly.

"I think we are playing with a lot of energy. Everyone that played can get about the pitch and turn defence into attack very quickly."

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