Cooper sings Smith's praises
Last Updated: 09/08/14 9:04pm
Mark Cooper: Delighted with striker's impact
Mark Cooper was delighted with Michael Smith after he scored a brace in Swindon's 3-1 win over League One newcomers Scunthorpe.
The Robins made a blistering start and goals from Australia international Massimo Luongo and Smith put them in control with only 13 minutes gone.
Paddy Madden gave the Iron hope when he raced behind the home defence to slot home from Deon Burton's flick-on, but Smith made sure of the points just before the break with his second goal of the game.
Cooper said: "No matter what anyone says about him, and he does get his fair share of stick, he scores goals and that's another two for him.
"He's just had a go at me for bringing him off, as he was on his hat-trick, but I'm sure he'll get plenty more chances for that at this club."
The Swindon defence had only trained together once a day before the game and Cooper is hoping to bring in Southampton's Jack Stephens on loan as a reinforcement.
He added: "Everyone knows we are after Jack (Stephens), so we're just waiting for that to get over the line.
"We've got lots of work to do defensively, Josh Lelan and Jordan Turnbull are both young lads and haven't been together long as a back three so we half expected that.
"I thought we were really good for the however many minutes it was wave after wave of attacks. We managed to get two goals up, but we let Scunthorpe back into it and there's a bit of a worry with the amount of young players at the back and there was a little naivety.
"We hoped we had enough fire power and ability going forward - and we did."
Scunthorpe's Marcus Williams was given a straight red card 10 minutes from time after shoving Nathan Thompson to the floor, capping a miserable afternoon for Iron.
Visiting manager Russ Wilcox admitted he disappointed with his defender's actions.
He said: "I think it was down to frustration, we were 3-1 down, but the rules are there and you can't raise your hands.
"If you do, in someone's face, then you're going to get a red card. It's cost us a little bit but it will certainly cost us in the next three games.
'I'm disappointed with the first two goals because when you come to a place like this you need to be solid. There was a great response from the lads to get back in it and Swindon have rode their luck to stay ahead. If we got it back to 2-2 I think we'd have gone on to win.
"Last season we never created as many opportunities as we did today, so that's a positive to take from this."