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SWINDON TOWN: Cooper resorts to keeping it simple
TYRELL Belford may be prevented from making his Swindon Town debut but the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy competition rules, according to his manager Mark Cooper.
Goalkeeper Belford, a summer signing from Liverpool, has been an unused substitute on 11 occasions as Wes Foderingham continues to hold down the number one jersey at the County Ground.
However, Cooper would happily hand the 19-year-old his first start when Plymouth visit Wiltshire this evening, but only if his options were not limited by stipulations that the Town boss can only make five changes to his starting line-up from the weekend win over Tranmere.
“It’d be ideal to change him but we can only change so many players so we have got some that need to rest,” said Cooper. “Whether or not we can get away with resting Wes we don’t know yet.
“We still have one or two little bumps and bruises. It would be ideal but we haven’t decided yet.
“We have to find out if he’s ready but we’re not sure yet.”
In a perfect world, Cooper would allow Yaser Kasim, Grant Hall, Darren Ward, Jay McEveley, Massimo Luongo and Nile Ranger all sit out this evening’s game.
With Nathan Thompson suspended and only Raphael Rossi Branco available to fill in at centre-back, however, the Swindon manager has a juggling act on his hands.
“They’re the ones we’re thinking about but we can only rest so many,” he said. “We couldn’t rest Ward and Hall together because we’ve only got one other centre-back.
“McEveley would do well to play two games in a week so he will rest. We’re limited in where we can change it.
“We have to do it, that’s the rules. We have to abide by the rules and it might be a case of changing things at half-time and give players have a game.”
Tijane Reis, Ryan Mason, Ryan Harley, Alex Smith, Harry Agombar, Mark Francis, Alex Ferguson and Aaron Oakley are still not fit enough to be included in the matchday squad.
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