Cooper expecting toughest test yet at Eastleigh

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Mark Cooper Mark Cooper

SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper is expecting a fierce test of his side’s credentials at non-league powerhouse Eastleigh tonight.

The Conference side have thrown money at their plan to reach the Football League in 2014/15, drafting in the likes of James Constable and Jack Midson on high wages, and the Hampshire team will present Cooper’s men with their stiffest examination of pre-season so far this evening.

However, the Robins boss stressed that he is not as concerned with the result at the Silverlake Stadium as he is with the stamina his players show and the shape they maintain on the pitch.

He told the Advertiser: “It’ll be a really tough ask for us, going into it with only one centre-half really, but we’ll try to dominate the ball as we usually do. It will be a really good test for us. It will test our fitness out.

“What we are trying to do is get as much out of this week as we can and if the players are tired going into a game we’re not too fussed about it because it’s pre-season. We want to get the maximum amount out of it. That means training, doing more work mentally and physically and probably going in to the game at Eastleigh tired.

“We’re not putting too much emphasis on the results. We’re trying to tweak the tactics side of it.

“I’ve not seen the odds but I’d imagine they’re one of the favourites to win the Conference. They’ll have a budget that’s probably up there with ours, if not more. That doesn’t guarantee anything but it’s a pre-season game and we’ll go there to try to make the most of it.“ Trialist Jonathan Vandesompele will play a part at Eastleigh tonight as Cooper and his coaching staff come to a conclusion of whether or not to keep the defender long-term.

Cooper said: “He’s done alright. He’s been here a couple of weeks and he’s done alright. We’ll make a decision on him at the end of the week.”

Andy Williams and Ben Gladwin, who missed the 5-2 victory at Petersfield on Tuesday night, are expected to feature, though Yaser Kasim is a doubt due to nerve damage in his foot.

TOWN supporters will be able to watch the Robins in action at Eastleigh tonight for just £8. The game at the Silverlake Stadium kicks off at 7pm, with prices as follows: Adults £8, concessions £4, under 12s free.

Comments (8)

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8:00am Thu 17 Jul 14

old town robin says...

“It’ll be a really tough ask for us, going into it with only one centre-half

Big test for Branco to take care of Constable, let's hope he show his metal and plays with the confidence and discipline needed to play at centre back At least Coops seems to acknowledge we need to bring in at least 2 additions, especially if he wants to play 3 at the back which seemed to work quite well at the end of last season.

Stephens is in Holland at the moment with the Saints squad, so not expecting any decision on his chances of coming back for a season long lone until after next Tuesday's friendly.
“It’ll be a really tough ask for us, going into it with only one centre-half Big test for Branco to take care of Constable, let's hope he show his metal and plays with the confidence and discipline needed to play at centre back At least Coops seems to acknowledge we need to bring in at least 2 additions, especially if he wants to play 3 at the back which seemed to work quite well at the end of last season. Stephens is in Holland at the moment with the Saints squad, so not expecting any decision on his chances of coming back for a season long lone until after next Tuesday's friendly. old town robin
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8:02am Thu 17 Jul 14

old town robin says...

Opps meant loan not lone
Opps meant loan not lone old town robin
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8:51am Thu 17 Jul 14

Moonraker1983 says...

The same Constable that didn't want to join the Di Canio revolution? My, I wonder if he'll get a crick in the neck looking up the leagues to where we are...
The same Constable that didn't want to join the Di Canio revolution? My, I wonder if he'll get a crick in the neck looking up the leagues to where we are... Moonraker1983
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12:34pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Fernham Red says...

Coincidental trivia question: where do Southampton U21 team play their homes fixtures?
Coincidental trivia question: where do Southampton U21 team play their homes fixtures? Fernham Red
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12:38pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Swindon1984 says...

Fernham Red wrote:
Coincidental trivia question: where do Southampton U21 team play their homes fixtures?
Guessing Eastleigh? Makes sense given the distance.

Heat could play a factor, only about thirty miles up the road from Eastleigh at the minute and it's roasting, decent breeze though. Hopefully will give a good account of ourselves this evening, though hard to predict when you don't know who's going to be playing. Predicting a 3-1 win with Constable scoring for them - will be a good test of the defence against the type of bruising forward we're likely to come across this season.
[quote][p][bold]Fernham Red[/bold] wrote: Coincidental trivia question: where do Southampton U21 team play their homes fixtures?[/p][/quote]Guessing Eastleigh? Makes sense given the distance. Heat could play a factor, only about thirty miles up the road from Eastleigh at the minute and it's roasting, decent breeze though. Hopefully will give a good account of ourselves this evening, though hard to predict when you don't know who's going to be playing. Predicting a 3-1 win with Constable scoring for them - will be a good test of the defence against the type of bruising forward we're likely to come across this season. Swindon1984
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2:27pm Thu 17 Jul 14

smirg kcab says...

If we have to worry about 2-ex division two forwards.
god help us
It's not the paying fans thought why we only have one c/b.
We are better than them. We will beat them,
Reading this I think they should cancel Leeds and Southampton due to the fear factor.
If we have to worry about 2-ex division two forwards. god help us It's not the paying fans thought why we only have one c/b. We are better than them. We will beat them, Reading this I think they should cancel Leeds and Southampton due to the fear factor. smirg kcab
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3:32pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Swindon1984 says...

It's a friendly, anything can happen.
It's a friendly, anything can happen. Swindon1984
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4:51pm Thu 17 Jul 14

Fernham Red says...

It's gotta be Williams and Smith stealing the glory tonight - I hope they get the full 90 minutes. It would be nice if we could shut out their front two as well. I suspect a tight result tonight: 3/1 odds on the draw looks generous.
It's gotta be Williams and Smith stealing the glory tonight - I hope they get the full 90 minutes. It would be nice if we could shut out their front two as well. I suspect a tight result tonight: 3/1 odds on the draw looks generous. Fernham Red
  • Score: 0
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