MARK Cooper has accepted he frequently uses the young average age of his Swindon Town squad to try to explain when things go wrong, but he’s not about to change his tune.
With Ryan Harley and Darren Ward set to be offloaded this summer, Swindon will start the 2014/15 campaign with just one player over the age of 25 amongst their ranks - Andy Williams.
Therefore, Cooper feels he has a legitimate argument in highlighting Town’s tender years in certain situations, even though he knows some fans are mocking him for it.
“I think we’ve got the basis or the nucleus of a team that did some good things. We need to add to that in certain positions that will give us the impetus to drive forward. We have got the nucleus to do well,” he said.
“Someone showed me something where I’d taken a bit of stick, that I’d kept going on about the youth of the team. I’m not telling any lies. The team is young and they’re going to make mistakes. With the way we play they will make mistakes but they will get better and I enjoy working with them every day. They’ve done really well so far and they’re only going to get better.
“The year they’ve just had gives them experience and some of them now become more experienced players and they have to help the younger ones. People will have seen how we play and will try to work us out. We have to be a step in front of them and change little things to how we do things so we’re not as easy to play against.
“I don’t want to set any expectations. Boring as it is, all I want to do is go from game to game and try to entertain people. Hopefully the young players can keep improving and who knows? Who knows where we can go if we get the right two or three players in.”
Meanwhile, trialists Ibrahim Kargbo, Elikem Amenku and Khalil Ladid have all left the club. Town face Petersfield in a pre-season friendly tonight, though it remains unclear whether Calvin Kalinga or Jonathan Vandemsompele will feature. Kalinga may play a part in the youth team’s clash with Fairford Town at Cinder Lane.