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Luongo set to feature in friendlies despite World Cup trip
MASSIMO Luongo returned to training with Swindon Town yesterday following his World Cup adventure and the midfielder is expected to go straight into the Robins’ matchday squad for the trip to Yate Town tonight.
Luongo didn’t make it off the bench as Australia were eliminated at the group stage of the tournament in Brazil and was given extra time off by the Swindon management prior to arriving back at Liddington on Thursday morning.
Despite only having had a fortnight or so off all summer, Cooper is confident the midfielder will be eager to get back into the thick of things when Town open their pre-season campaign this evening.
“We’re going to see how he is,” Cooper told the Advertiser. “He didn’t have a break; he went straight from playing, straight into camp and had his time in Brazil. Speaking to a couple of boys who’ve spoken to him, he’s raring to get back and train and play. I think he’s had two and a half weeks off and that will have done him some good, so hopefully we can get him straight back in action tomorrow night.
“I’m going to speak to him but I know if it was me I’d want to play, get straight back on the bike and crack on again.”
Town face Yate and Swindon Supermarine within 18 hours over the course of the weekend - and Cooper explained that the double-header was pre-planned, as he tries to test the stamina and fitness levels of his players in match situations.
“This is more planned because we’re going to train hard before the game and try to put the boys into the game a little bit fatigued,” he said. “We’ll see how they cope when they’re under pressure and fatigued. The same squad will go to Yate and Supermarine and they’ll probably all play half a game both days.”