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SWINDON TOWN: Ranger a positive influence
NILE Ranger’s arrival in the Swindon Town changing room has had a “positive effect” on the rest of the squad, according to manager Mark Cooper.
The striker, whose off-field antics have become infamous in recent years, was handed a one-year deal at the County Ground last week and made his debut off the bench in the 2-0 defeat at Shrewsbury.
With a rape charge still hanging over his head many have disputed the moral validity of Ranger’s signing, but from a purely football perspective Cooper stressed that having him around has done the rest of Town’s forwards a world of good.
“He’s another striker and he puts pressure on the other strikers in the team. He’s not done a lot of football but I don’t think it will take a lot to get him as fit as we need him to be before we include him,” he said.
“It’s not going to be months and he’s had a positive effect because when you sign a new player, and someone of Nile’s stature and reputation, that’s given it a little bit of an edge in training.
“I think it has to (bring the best out of the other strikers) because they have to up their game and make sure that when he is fit he’s not taking their place.”
Ranger is still a good fortnight away from full fitness, according to Cooper, although he is expected to play a part in the Swindon matchday squad for this weekend’s clash with Gillingham at the County Ground.
“I think he needs another one or two games before we can really think about signing him,” said the Robins boss.
“What we don’t want to do is throw him in and risk him getting injured. He’s not done an awful lot and he could risk being injured and being out for six weeks rather than the two it’s going to take to get him fit.”
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