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Manager Mark Cooper proud of Wembley-bound Swindon Town

12 May 2015

Mark Cooper revealed his pride after Swindon Town reached the Sky Bet League 1 Play-Off final following a remarkable 5-5 draw with Sheffield United, sending them to Wembley with a 7-6 aggregate win.

The Robins took a 2-1 lead into the second leg at the County Ground, and they looked home and dry when a Ben Gladwin brace and one from Michael Smith fired them into a 3-0 lead inside 18 minutes.

Sheffield United pulled two goals back before the break to make it 5-3 on aggregate, but a Smith second and a Jon Obika strike was enough to see them through, despite a late United double.

“I’m very proud of my players. At the start of season we were written off as relegation fodder and for a group of young boys to come through to being one game away from the Championship, to even get to Wembley is a remarkable achievement for them,” Cooper told the media.

“We know we have our faults, we can’t have everything. We play a certain way and at times we have to concede. It’s important that we analyse that closely and look at what we’ve done wrong, as we'll always do, and we’ll try and rectify that.”

The game was the highest scoring match in the history of the Play-Offs and Cooper was somewhat astonished post-match.

He'll certainly be hoping to be more solid defensively when they take on Preston North End under the arch with a place in the Sky Bet Championship at stake.

He added: “At the minute I’m just putting it down to being a freak game, because I don’t think there will ever be another game like that. It was like two heavyweight boxers trying to knock each other out.

“I’m sure Simon Grayson [Preston boss] was rubbing his hands together watching it. With the firepower at their disposal I’m sure they’ll fancy their chances.”

Follow The Sky Bet Football League Play-Offs on Twitter @football_league, on Facebook by searching The Football League and on Instagram @footballleague, using #PlayOffs.

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