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SWINDON TOWN: Cooper relishing boss role
MARK Cooper is looking forward to being able to fully stamp his mark on Swindon Town now he has been appointed the club’s manager on a permanent basis.
Having been caretaker for five and a half weeks since the resignation of former boss Kevin MacDonald, Cooper was yesterday handed a two-year deal by chairman Jed McCrory and director of football operations Lee Power.
Cooper has been influential in implementing Town’s new patient, passing game during his spell as caretaker, but after being handed the job full-time he now feels better placed to make his mark on the club, which includes a big say in transfer policy.
“I spoke to the players this morning and it’s all systems go now,” he said. “It is difficult to have that stamp and air of authority when you’re caretaker, although you do try your best.
“Now the players know where they stand and we’re ready for Gillingham on Saturday.
“I’ve had quite an input (in bringing players in).
“If we need a striker or whatever position we’ll get together and Lee and Jed will get names together and we’ll sit down and try to get the one that fits into the way we want to do. Cost comes into it and if they are the right person to be in the squad.
“Kevin (MacDonald) would ask me what I thought and obviously as an assistant you do have an input. Now it’s between the three of us we decide to have a sit down and a natter and decide the best way to go.”
The new Town boss has also been pleased with the support he has received from the club’s owners, as well as the fans.
“I’ve been in the hotseat for over a month now and got to know the people very well. I’ve been treated very well and I’d like to think we’ve moved it on a step,” he said.
“We’ve produced some good performances, I’ve had some fantastic support from the fans and people sat next to me and it’s an exciting place to be at the moment.
“It was a trial period for myself, I would have been a long shot from the outset but obviously I’ve done something right and impressed Jed, Lee, Sangita (Shah) and the people at Swindon enough for them to offer me the job.
“I don’t see it as a stepping stone, I want to be part of the long term future of the football club. The club has taken a different route over the last few months in terms of transfer policy and certainly the way we’re trying to play football and the way we’ll play football for a while to come.”
Cooper began to believe he had a chance of taking the job full-time after watching his side’s early performances, but accepts displays like the one which saw the Robins lose at Shrewsbury on Saturday will happen due to the change in approach.
“When we played some of the football we have - against Stevenage, Torquay and Peterborough - you’re thinking ‘I may have a chance’,” he said.
“We went to the other extreme at Shrewsbury which is going to happen when you’ve got young players but I think people can see through that. One result is not going to make a vast difference.
“From the first moment I was put in temporary charge I had one eye on the job and I always thought I could get it.
“I’ve been there before, done it in the Championship and I’m looking forward to doing it in League One with Swindon Town and hopefully being part of the furniture for a while to come.”
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