Swindon Town boss has plenty of options at full-back

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mark Cooper Mark Cooper

MARK Cooper will have a selection headache at the Lamex Stadium tonight as the Swindon Town manager finds himself overloaded with full-back options.

Jay McEveley has responded well to treatment in recent days and the left-back, originally expected to be out for as long as a month after injurying his knee at Bradford City on December 29, is reportedly ready to play a part in the trip to Stevenage.

Cooper, who takes his side to Hertfordshire in search of their third away win in League One this season, also has Nathan Thompson, Nathan Byrne and Jack Barthram at his disposal, while Grant Hall did a sterling job filling in for McEveley at full-back during the 2-1 victory over Peterborough United on Saturday.

When asked whether he would continue to play Hall in wide defence, Cooper said: “It’s horses for courses. We knew Peterborough were set-pieces were a threat so we wanted another big defender in the team and it worked.

“Grant’s played there before and I thought he did well.”

Cooper expects Stevenage to be looking for revenge when they host the Robins tonight.

Boro sit rock bottom of League One, having picked up only 19 points from their 24 games thus far this term, and have not won any of their last seven league matches.

They have also been beaten by Town twice this season - 1-0 in the league at the County Ground in August and on penalties in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last month.

Cooper, therefore, expects the hosts to want to exercise a little retribution.

“We know what’s coming with Stevenage,” he said. “They will have a point to prove after the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy semi-final against us.

Ryan Harley is also fit enough to be included in Cooper’s matchday squad this evening while Nile Ranger is expected to start after reportedly turning up for training on time on Monday.

“Jay will be involved, he’s in the squad but it’s whether we change the back four or put him straight back in. That’s the conundrum we have got,” Cooper told BBC Wiltshire.

“We would have no problem keeping Grant (Hall) at left back, he played there for Brighton and he’s a good enough player that he could probably play in any position in defence or midfield.

“Ryan (Harley) had tonsillitis. He had it Thursday, Friday and over the weekend but he’s come back in and trained this morning.

“Obviously anyone who’s had that will know it can knock you sideways so he’s just getting his strength back but he will involved tomorrow in the squad.”

Comments (13)

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6:37am Tue 14 Jan 14

Chish and Fips says...

Bit off subject - but there doesn't seem to be any mention of that Alex Smith ? we bought from Fulham.
Bit off subject - but there doesn't seem to be any mention of that Alex Smith ? we bought from Fulham. Chish and Fips

8:08am Tue 14 Jan 14

London Red says...

Out with long term injury. Had to have an op after going off at QPR
.
Don't think we will see him again this year
Out with long term injury. Had to have an op after going off at QPR . Don't think we will see him again this year London Red

8:50am Tue 14 Jan 14

socraties says...

Hope he don't play McEveley. All other options are better.

The back 4 played really well on Saturday, so if it aint broke don't fix it.

Hope Branco keeps his place, he plaed really well on Saturday

COYR
Hope he don't play McEveley. All other options are better. The back 4 played really well on Saturday, so if it aint broke don't fix it. Hope Branco keeps his place, he plaed really well on Saturday COYR socraties

9:08am Tue 14 Jan 14

umpcah says...

"Nile Ranger is expected to start after reportedly turning up for training on time on Monday" Blimey - he`s keen ! Or is this based on a tweet rumour ?
"Nile Ranger is expected to start after reportedly turning up for training on time on Monday" Blimey - he`s keen ! Or is this based on a tweet rumour ? umpcah

9:15am Tue 14 Jan 14

RedRich says...

Is Grant Hall available for tonight's game? as I thought he had 4 yellows before he was booked v Peterborough, therefore, a one game ban.

COYR
Is Grant Hall available for tonight's game? as I thought he had 4 yellows before he was booked v Peterborough, therefore, a one game ban. COYR RedRich

9:15am Tue 14 Jan 14

glenda hoddle says...

I will be very disappointed if branco is replaced by hall at center back. Hall needs to be left out.
I will be very disappointed if branco is replaced by hall at center back. Hall needs to be left out. glenda hoddle

11:21am Tue 14 Jan 14

Fernham Red says...

"Ranger is expected to start after reportedly turning up on time for training on Monday" - nice one Sam.
"Ranger is expected to start after reportedly turning up on time for training on Monday" - nice one Sam. Fernham Red

11:26am Tue 14 Jan 14

old town robin says...

I may be wrong but I thought we played 3 centre backs on Saturday with Nat Thompson who IMO had his best game of the season pushing forward. This was the second time I'd seen us play with just the 3 centre back defence, (it worked well against Torquay with Barcham in the RB position getting forward). Ward and Hall both looked comfortable with it and Branco has proved himself to be more than capable on both occasions I've seen him. As long as everyone is fit and no yellow card bans, then I would think it would an unchanged side unless Louis or Hartley comes in for Mason, who still doesn't look 100% fit to play for 90 minutes.
I may be wrong but I thought we played 3 centre backs on Saturday with Nat Thompson who IMO had his best game of the season pushing forward. This was the second time I'd seen us play with just the 3 centre back defence, (it worked well against Torquay with Barcham in the RB position getting forward). Ward and Hall both looked comfortable with it and Branco has proved himself to be more than capable on both occasions I've seen him. As long as everyone is fit and no yellow card bans, then I would think it would an unchanged side unless Louis or Hartley comes in for Mason, who still doesn't look 100% fit to play for 90 minutes. old town robin

11:39am Tue 14 Jan 14

the don69 says...

Fernham Red wrote:
"Ranger is expected to start after reportedly turning up on time for training on Monday" - nice one Sam.
Be careful Sam! you'll get your ban extended saying stuff like that!LOL!!!!
[quote][p][bold]Fernham Red[/bold] wrote: "Ranger is expected to start after reportedly turning up on time for training on Monday" - nice one Sam.[/p][/quote]Be careful Sam! you'll get your ban extended saying stuff like that!LOL!!!! the don69

12:43pm Tue 14 Jan 14

harley red says...

socraties wrote:
Hope he don't play McEveley. All other options are better.

The back 4 played really well on Saturday, so if it aint broke don't fix it.

Hope Branco keeps his place, he plaed really well on Saturday

COYR
Sorry but I think Jay is a far better player and offers options going forward Hall has been a liability all season .
[quote][p][bold]socraties[/bold] wrote: Hope he don't play McEveley. All other options are better. The back 4 played really well on Saturday, so if it aint broke don't fix it. Hope Branco keeps his place, he plaed really well on Saturday COYR[/p][/quote]Sorry but I think Jay is a far better player and offers options going forward Hall has been a liability all season . harley red

1:10pm Tue 14 Jan 14

socraties says...

harley red wrote:
socraties wrote: Hope he don't play McEveley. All other options are better. The back 4 played really well on Saturday, so if it aint broke don't fix it. Hope Branco keeps his place, he plaed really well on Saturday COYR
Sorry but I think Jay is a far better player and offers options going forward Hall has been a liability all season .
No Probs.

I don't rate McEvelely.

He gets caught out of position far too often, cannot cross a ball, runs forward, but most times to no avail, and jums in when theres no need.
[quote][p][bold]harley red[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]socraties[/bold] wrote: Hope he don't play McEveley. All other options are better. The back 4 played really well on Saturday, so if it aint broke don't fix it. Hope Branco keeps his place, he plaed really well on Saturday COYR[/p][/quote]Sorry but I think Jay is a far better player and offers options going forward Hall has been a liability all season .[/p][/quote]No Probs. I don't rate McEvelely. He gets caught out of position far too often, cannot cross a ball, runs forward, but most times to no avail, and jums in when theres no need. socraties

3:46pm Tue 14 Jan 14

smirg kcab says...

RedRich wrote:
Is Grant Hall available for tonight's game? as I thought he had 4 yellows before he was booked v Peterborough, therefore, a one game ban.

COYR
All cards are wiped on 1jan I believe
[quote][p][bold]RedRich[/bold] wrote: Is Grant Hall available for tonight's game? as I thought he had 4 yellows before he was booked v Peterborough, therefore, a one game ban. COYR[/p][/quote]All cards are wiped on 1jan I believe smirg kcab

8:52pm Tue 14 Jan 14

old town robin says...

smirg kcab wrote:
RedRich wrote:
Is Grant Hall available for tonight's game? as I thought he had 4 yellows before he was booked v Peterborough, therefore, a one game ban.

COYR
All cards are wiped on 1jan I believe
good reply
[quote][p][bold]smirg kcab[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]RedRich[/bold] wrote: Is Grant Hall available for tonight's game? as I thought he had 4 yellows before he was booked v Peterborough, therefore, a one game ban. COYR[/p][/quote]All cards are wiped on 1jan I believe[/p][/quote]good reply old town robin

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