Coventry’s speedy striker Callum will be a marked man

Sky Blues' striker Callum Smith

Sky Blues' striker Callum Smith

First published in Sport by

SWINDON Town need roller skates and motorbikes to keep up with Coventry City striker Callum Wilson, according to manager Mark Cooper.

Lightning-quick Wilson, who has netted 22 times in 37 appearances for the Sky Blues this season, and his extreme speed has caused many a defence a migraine over the course of the campaign.

The 22-year-old hasn’t scored in his last two run-outs, however, and if Town keep him from finding the net at Sixfields this afternoon he will match his longest goal drought of the season.

To do so, Cooper joked with the local press that Town might need a little extra help. When asked how he planned to combat Wilson’s pace, he said: “Roller skates. Motorbikes. He is so quick it’s unbelievable, it’s ridiculous. We have a certain way we’re going to try to deal with it.

“What they have got is a centre-forward that can catch pigeons, has scored an awful lot of goals and I would say he’s one of the best strikers in this league and the one above.

We have to be aware that whenever they have the ball they’re going to try to slip him in one on one.

“We have to be very wary of that in the work we do but of course we’re going to exploit what we think are Coventry’s weaker points.

“We always do as much as we can in terms of tactics and making sure we’re ready for a game.”

During the first half of the season, Wilson formed one half of a prolific partnership with Leon Clarke, as Coventry threatened to challenge for a play-off place despite their 10-point deduction for entering administration.

However, Clarke was sold to Wolves in January and since then City’s results have tailed off, with just four league wins to their name in 2014.

A similar situation can be found at Bradford City, Swindon’s opponents on Easter Monday, where the loss of Nahki Wells hindered their play-off push, and Cooper accepted that losing a key frontman can derail a campaign.

He said: “When you take that many goals out of a team of course it does - look at Nile Ranger. You could say the same with us. They’ve lost them, we’ve lost Nile Ranger and you see what happens.

“You can’t replace that amount of goals but on the other hand you can’t put down the amount of money they’ve got for those players.

“I’m sure that Phil (Parkinson) at Bradford will be looking to unearth another one. Obviously they’ve brought Jon Stead in who’s a good player and an experienced campaigner, and Coventry had tried to replace Leon Clarke but they’ve still got Wilson, who scores bucket-fulls.

“They can afford these players and they are good. Aaron McLean I had at Peterborough and he was brilliant for me - great attitude, a great professional and a real handful as a centre-forward.

“He’s not the biggest but he can jump the size of a six foot seven person.”

Meanwhile, though Yaser Kasim, Ranger and Ryan Mason are all sidelined for the long term, Cooper reported no fresh injury concerns ahead of the Easter weekend.

He said: “There are little bumps and bruises but nothing major so it should be a similar sort of squad to last week.”

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