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SWINDON TOWN: Cooper set to make changes
MARK Cooper has admitted he is considering making significant adjustments to the way he sets his Swindon Town side up away from home after watching the Robins limp to defeat at Preston.
Iain Hume’s 10th-minute opener and a comical own goal from Jay McEveley did for Town at Deepdale, despite Dany N’Guessan’s late consolation, as the visitors displayed a distinct lack of physicality or creativity against the Lilywhites.
Swindon are still looking for their first league win on the road this term, and in five matches away from the County Ground Cooper’s men have managed to pick up just one point in the 1-1 draw at MK Dons on September 7.
Cooper told the Advertiser that those statistics are of some concern and he has already earmarked possible plans B and C to be implemented in the future.
“Away from home we might have to change a little bit how we play and come up with something that gives us a chance to get some points,” he said.
“It is a concern and we have to come up with something because we’ve now shown that physically we can be outmuscled. We have to come up with something that counters that.
“I’ve got one or two ideas. We went to three at the back in the second half and I thought we looked a lot more solid when we did that, but it’s not really the way we want to play. It’s a case of having to find a way.
“They have to do it for 90 minutes and they have to stop conceding goals like they are. I’m not worried, it’s a challenge and one we’ve got to solve.”
Many of Cooper’s players felt aggrieved by the hard tackling of Preston striker Kevin Davies at Deepdale. The ex-Bolton frontman forced Nathan Thompson off after a hefty tackle in the box and was later lucky not to find his way into the referee’s notebook for a late challenge on Grant Hall.
Cooper, while disappointed his players did not get more protection from referee Mike Russell, accepted that is simply Davies’s style.
“That’s how he plays the game and he’s made a really good living out of it and he’s a real handful. If you don’t stand up to it that’s what happens,” he said. “Referees have to give a little bit more protection than that. If we don’t deal with that we can’t play our football and that’s why I’ve said to the players ‘when it’s physical we have to stand up to it’.”
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