MARK Cooper thinks Colchester United will be gagging to exert a spot of revenge over his Swindon Town side when the two meet at the County Ground tonight.
The Robins manager masterminded a 2-1 victory at the Weston Homes Community Stadium in November, utilising a 4-6-0 formation to tremendous effect, and as a result he does not expect to receive the niceties usually reserved for Valentine’s night when the U’s arrive in Wiltshire this evening.
Cooper is anticipating Colchester boss Joe Dunne and his players to provide a stern test for his players, praising their technical ability.
The Town boss, who watched tonight’s visitors lose 2-0 at Port Vale in midweek, said: “I would say it was a frustrating afternoon for them and they’ll want to get revenge for that, I’m sure.
“I went to watch them on Tuesday night at a very wet, windy, snowy Vale Park and they’ll probably feel a bit frustrated they didn’t have a little more to show for their efforts.
“They’ve had a long trip on Tuesday and I’m sure they’re over the moon having to come to us on Friday. They’ve got some good players. It’s the same as every week - if we’re not at it like we have been for the last two games.
“You don’t play for this team unless you run about and do the hard work as well as play football. We have to be right at it again.”
Cooper appreciates the task Dunne has to coax a young squad into playing winning football at Colchester, having taken on a similar job in Swindon.
“They’re pretty similar to us,” he said. “They’re going down the youthful route, they’ve got a really good training facility, a fantastic training ground which is something we need to look at, and they’re starting to produce good, young players.
“When I watched them the other night they had a lot of technical ability in the team and he (Dunne) has done well bringing that through. He started the process as the youth coach so a lot of those players have come through under his guidance.”
Swindon will have to do without the suspended duo of Jay McEveley and Yaser Kasim this evening, while Ryan Mason remains absent due to a side strain.
Cooper is expected to name an unchanged starting line-up for the visit of the U’s, who themselves have very few injury concerns.