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Cooper expects MacDonald to look at youngsters
MARK Cooper expects new manager Kevin MacDonald to bring in new faces between now and the end of the season, as well as tap into the Robins’ stock of young players.
The former Kettering and Peterborough boss has moved to Wiltshire as MacDonald’s assistant, with the pair having come across each other while Cooper was an aspiring manager at Tamworth while the new Swindon chief was working with the young players at Aston Villa.
During Saturday’s win at Coventry the pair deployed Simon Ferry in an unfamiliar role on the right of midfield, and while Cooper insisted he could continue in that role, the number two admitted MacDonald could dip into the transfer market or promote young players to bolster his depleted squad.
“It’s something Kevin has looked at already (bringing in players from the youth team), and he has had a few of the young boys playing with us and meetings with the youth side, and he wants to get that integration back into the club as soon as possible,” he said.
“If they keep playing like they did on Saturday they might not need anybody, but with the run in I’m sure the manager will be looking to bring one or two in. From where I don’t know, but we are going out and watching games and seeing what we can find.
“The gaffer wants to get his good players on the ball as often as possible, and if that means tucking people inside and playing a bit lop-sided then I’m sure he will. On Saturday we got in the little pockets and holes with Gary Roberts and Simon Ferry, and they created a few problems.”
MacDonald and Cooper will get their first experience of the County Ground on Saturday when Town host in-form Walsall, and after scanning the fixture list the assistant is pleased to see the Robins face a succession of promotion rivals between now and the end of the season.
“The most dangerous games are the teams in midtable with nothing to play for, because they just relax and have nothing to lose,” he said.
“I would much rather play against teams with something on because they become better games with a good tempo about them.
“If you have really good players who are fit and organised, which I think we have, then we have a chance.
“Walsall have been fantastic, although I wouldn’t say they have one of the bigger budgets in the league, but they have brought a lot of young players through and play a decent brand of football.
“I have seen them a couple of times this year and they are good to watch, and it will be another test where we will have to be right on the metal to get something out of the game.”