Cooper hoping to avoid the Lou Macari treatment on return to City

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mark Cooper Mark Cooper

MARK Cooper is well aware of the perils of sending the Bristol City fans home unhappy while visiting Ashton Gate as an away manager, but will be gunning for his old club tomorrow nonetheless.

The Town boss spent a handful of his formative years in and around Bristol while his father Terry was manager of City, and will now lead a team out at his dad’s old stomping ground for the first time when Swindon visit for tomorrow’s derby.

Cooper has a vivid memory of one Swindon visit where City needed a win to secure their place in the play-offs alongside Town on the final day of the 1986-87 season, but when Gordon Owen’s penalty trickled wide in the dying minutes the County Ground side escaped with a 1-1 draw.

The home fans weren’t happy to see their side miss out on a shot at promotion and took their frustrations out on Swindon boss Lou Macari, pelting him with glasses while then City YTS Cooper watched on. The current Town boss is understandably keen to avoid suffering the same fate as legendary boss Macari but would love nothing more than to leave Ashton Gate tomorrow having similarly disappointed the vocal home crowd.

“I’m really looking forward to going back and I’ve got quite a few friends in Bristol, but I’m looking forward to going back as manager of Swindon and hopefully getting a result,” he said.

“I remember big crowds, vocal support when things are going well and a nice stadium. It’s a proper football stadium, similar to ours, and it can generate a lot of noise when it gets going.

“It will be a good atmosphere I’m sure because they’re hitting a patch of form and we’re on a bit of a rocky patch but I think it will be a good game.

“I can remember being at Bristol City when I was a young lad and Swindon came with Lou Macari as their manager.

“Bristol City had to win to get in the play-offs while Swindon were already in, I think, and Bristol City got a penalty in the last minute. Gordon Owen took it and rolled it past the post so City missed out.

“I can remember after the game I was a YTS and we were doing our jobs and had to go and get something out of the car park and the City fans were throwing pint glasses at Lou Macari. Hopefully that won’t be me.

“I can remember coming here and watching Bristol City too and they are good memories for me.”

When Ashton Gate is rocking it can be a formidable experience for any player, especially the youngsters on display for Town, but Cooper has backed his players to cope well with another big occasion.

“City are paying well at the moment and Steve (Cotterill) has gone in and done well but we are going to try and give a good account of ourselves,” he said. “If we play like we did second half on Tuesday (against Wolves) we can get a result.

“I don’t think the atmosphere will be a problem at all because we’ve been to QPR and won with a young group and also went to Rotherham, which was a big atmosphere and won, so they know how to handle it.

“It’s just the mental tiredness which has crept in a little so we need to keep them fresh for Saturday.

“In games like this it’s the team who keep their head who will prevail.”

Cooper will have to make late calls on a number of his injured players ahead of Saturday’s clash with Bristol City.

The Town boss hoped to have Wes Foderingham back between the sticks but the keeper is by no means certain to recover from his groin injury in time, meaning Tyrell Belford could continue in goal.

Nathan Byrne was due to have a scan today to assess what Town believe is a nerve injury causing hamstring issues, while Troy Archibald-Henville will be assessed after training tomorrow to decide whether he is fit to return after missing out on Tuesday night.

Jay McEveley could play his second game in a week despite his ongoing knee problems while Nathan Thompson is almost certain to return.

Comments (6)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

9:00am Fri 14 Mar 14

Wildwestener says...

More likely to be pelted by the Swindon fans at the moment ;)

Just a joke folks; will be 100% behind Mark and the boys tomorrow in Bristol COYR
More likely to be pelted by the Swindon fans at the moment ;) Just a joke folks; will be 100% behind Mark and the boys tomorrow in Bristol COYR Wildwestener
  • Score: 11

12:27pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Old-Stager, Hilperton says...

I also remember the Gordon Owen missed penalty which was very gratefully appreciated by all Town Fans, and well remembered by Town Fans in future games.
Justice was done, because it was never a penalty in the first place.
Please be aware that City Fans shout "Penalty" about six times every match at Ashton Gate.
I also remember the Gordon Owen missed penalty which was very gratefully appreciated by all Town Fans, and well remembered by Town Fans in future games. Justice was done, because it was never a penalty in the first place. Please be aware that City Fans shout "Penalty" about six times every match at Ashton Gate. Old-Stager, Hilperton
  • Score: 3

12:28pm Fri 14 Mar 14

Swindon1984 says...

Wildwestener wrote:
More likely to be pelted by the Swindon fans at the moment ;) Just a joke folks; will be 100% behind Mark and the boys tomorrow in Bristol COYR
Right with you, if ever there's a time we need to get behind the team it's derby day, will be looking forward to it especially if the weather's decent as it has been for the past week.

Had to laugh at the "proper football stadium like ours" but, does that mean old and dilapidated? :-) I'm no fan of big, bowl-like soulless grounds either but Ashton Gate and the County Ground are both badly due a makeover.
[quote][p][bold]Wildwestener[/bold] wrote: More likely to be pelted by the Swindon fans at the moment ;) Just a joke folks; will be 100% behind Mark and the boys tomorrow in Bristol COYR[/p][/quote]Right with you, if ever there's a time we need to get behind the team it's derby day, will be looking forward to it especially if the weather's decent as it has been for the past week. Had to laugh at the "proper football stadium like ours" but, does that mean old and dilapidated? :-) I'm no fan of big, bowl-like soulless grounds either but Ashton Gate and the County Ground are both badly due a makeover. Swindon1984
  • Score: 5

2:14pm Fri 14 Mar 14

the wizard says...

I also remember Town going down and giving Nitty a good spank with PDC ,lol.
I also remember Town going down and giving Nitty a good spank with PDC ,lol. the wizard
  • Score: 0

4:39pm Fri 14 Mar 14

nosyrudeman says...

Nothing to do with tomorrows game but I've just watched a 10 minute clip of Wembley 45 yrs ago tomorrow. It pure bought a tear to my eye, and having forgotten that Roger Smart almost scored with a header that Bob Wilson turned onto a post. Seeing Danny Williams holding up the cup at the tunnel end, and I was nearly crying again. Luvvly jubbly.

C'mon you REDZZZZZZ for tomorrow.
Nothing to do with tomorrows game but I've just watched a 10 minute clip of Wembley 45 yrs ago tomorrow. It pure bought a tear to my eye, and having forgotten that Roger Smart almost scored with a header that Bob Wilson turned onto a post. Seeing Danny Williams holding up the cup at the tunnel end, and I was nearly crying again. Luvvly jubbly. C'mon you REDZZZZZZ for tomorrow. nosyrudeman
  • Score: 2

5:09pm Fri 14 Mar 14

the wizard says...

nosyrudeman wrote:
Nothing to do with tomorrows game but I've just watched a 10 minute clip of Wembley 45 yrs ago tomorrow. It pure bought a tear to my eye, and having forgotten that Roger Smart almost scored with a header that Bob Wilson turned onto a post. Seeing Danny Williams holding up the cup at the tunnel end, and I was nearly crying again. Luvvly jubbly.

C'mon you REDZZZZZZ for tomorrow.
What a brilliant post, nice one Nosy, can't believe it was soooooo long ago. Despite all what goes in life some memories remain pure. Top man.

Danny Williams top manager. I don't think we will ever have another team of legends such as those guys.
[quote][p][bold]nosyrudeman[/bold] wrote: Nothing to do with tomorrows game but I've just watched a 10 minute clip of Wembley 45 yrs ago tomorrow. It pure bought a tear to my eye, and having forgotten that Roger Smart almost scored with a header that Bob Wilson turned onto a post. Seeing Danny Williams holding up the cup at the tunnel end, and I was nearly crying again. Luvvly jubbly. C'mon you REDZZZZZZ for tomorrow.[/p][/quote]What a brilliant post, nice one Nosy, can't believe it was soooooo long ago. Despite all what goes in life some memories remain pure. Top man. Danny Williams top manager. I don't think we will ever have another team of legends such as those guys. the wizard
  • Score: 1

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree