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Cooper impressed by mature heads on young shoulders
MARK Cooper has revealed his surprise at the maturity of his Swindon Town squad during their good recent run in League One.
Town have won their last three matches in the league, and four in all competitions, to sit pretty in sixth place going into tonight’s visit of Walsall.
Given that the vast majority of the playing staff at the County Ground are under the age of 25, Cooper could have been forgiven for expecting a handful of his players to get carried away by the series of results.
However, the Swindon manager told the Advertiser that he need not have worried, as every member of his squad has their head screwed on the right way.
“They’re very grounded, you know, it’s strange,” he said. “They’re a little bit frustrated (after the 2-0 win over Notts County on Friday) that they’ve not done better, which is a good thing. They’re young boys, they want to keep improving.
“They’re very grounded and they realise they have to keep focused. Yes, we’ve won again, but there’s another big test to come on Tuesday.
“I think a lot of them have had a good upbringing from the clubs they’ve been at – the Tottenham boys, the boys that have come from Brighton, Wardy and McEveley are top professionals and they look after the younger ones and let them know when they need to be told ‘listen, that’s not how we do things’.
“The group has blended, the chemistry of the group has been good, they’ve all got on and the biggest thing for me is they want to work and they want to ask questions – why are we doing that, why did you ask us to do that? They just want to work and get better.
“They want to be better. They want to improve and if you get that running through the squad, things can only go one way.”
One player who has particularly impressed Cooper in recent weeks is teenage full-back Jack Barthram.
“The one thing he’s got, and he’s the best in the club at doing it, is timing his runs forward. Nobody can do it like Jack,” said the Robins boss.
“He’s still coming to terms with senior football, he’ll get better and better. He’s a very intelligent boy, fantastic work ethic, he wants to learn and get better. The more time he gets, the better he’ll get.”
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