The Swindon Town players will not be burdened by the “massive responsibility” of taking the club to a Wembley final, according to manager Mark Cooper.
Victory over Peterborough United at the County Ground tonight would secure Swindon a third visit to English football headquarters in four years and an inevitable injection of cash thanks to increased ticket sales, merchandising, TV revenue and possible prize money.
The extra funds would go down very nicely in SN1, where the pursestrings continue to be tightened as Swindon’s owner Lee Power aims for a sustainable and self-sufficient future.
Therefore, the pressure is on Cooper and his young squad to see off Posh and land a lucrative payday in north London - not that the Robins boss expects his charges to be overly bothered by it.
“There’s massive responsibility but one we want to thrive on because we want to take the club forward, we want it to be safe, secure, we want it to keep moving forward, we want to make sure that we can bring some players in in the summer,” he said.
“If we can get to Wembley I would think it’s a huge void filled.
“As footballers, if you told them they’d probably go ‘oh yeah’ but they want to win for themselves, for their family and then their teammates. I wouldn’t think they worry too much about it but that doesn’t take away from how much they want to win.”
For a handful of those included in Town’s matchday squad tonight, the clash with Peterborough offers a chance to start making amends for defeat to Chesterfield in the final of the same competition in 2012.
The likes of Wes Foderingham, Nathan Thompson and Jay McEveley were involved with the Swindon team that lost 2-0 to the Spireites and, having spoken to them about that experience, Cooper is well aware that they intend to right past wrongs this time around.
“Speaking to those two they didn’t really enjoy the day and I don’t think you do, at Wembley, if you lose,” he said. “I think it’s only an enjoyable occasion if you win. I think they’re desperate to get back and enjoy the day.”