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SWINDON TOWN: Cooper tells banned Pritchard to let feet do the talking
SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper wants Alex Pritchard to cut out the back chat to referees after the winger was suspended following his fifth booking of the campaign at Wolves on Saturday.
Pritchard, a loan summer signing from Tottenham, has already accumulated five yellow cards in just eight appearances for the Robins and will now sit out the weekend visit of Bristol City in League One.
It is a huge frustration for Cooper, particularly seeing as two of Pritchard’s offences this term have come as a result of dissent.
While the Town boss knows the 20-year-old needs to have an edge to his game if he is going to continue terrorising defences this term, he wants his player to strike a disciplinary balance.
He told the Advertiser: “I think Alex thinks he knows he’s got to curb his temper, he can’t keep on picking up bookings like that.
“The tackle on Saturday I’ve seen again and it was a very good tackle. He got the ball cleanly. He didn’t deserve to be booked and he doesn’t deserve to be suspended but because of the other bookings he’s picked up for chipping away at the referees it means he ends up missing a game.
“Obviously he has to learn from that and we will miss what is a fantastic talent.
“He plays on the edge and he has to play on the edge because that’s the way he is. The more highly strung he is the better he plays. It’s a difficult one for him. We certainly don’t want to take away that edge because it makes him what every other team wants in their team - somebody like him.
“We have to be careful. There’s a fine balance between taking away his edge and curbing it a little bit.”
With Pritchard absent this weekend, and with Nathan Byrne also suspended and Tijane Reis still not match-fit, Cooper will have to picked between Dany N’Guessan, Nicky Ajose, Mohamed El Gabbas and Miles Storey to partner Nile Ranger up top.
“That’s what you have a squad for,” said Cooper.
“We’ve got Dany N’Guessan who came on on Saturday and looked very effective and strong, Nicky Ajose can play wide or down the middle, Ryan Harley can play wide as well as in the middle and there’s the Egyptian boy whose clearance has come through now. We’ve still got one or two options.”
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