Saints will test Town’s fitness in friendly tie

New Saints' boss Ronald Koeman

New Saints' boss Ronald Koeman

First published in Sport by

SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper isn’t anticipating his side having too much of the ball tonight, as Premier League side Southampton arrive at the County Ground for a pre-season friendly.

Having been beaten by Eastleigh on Thursday night, Town might be hoping for a response against the Saints but it will take something special to beat their top-flight guests, who are expected to bring a full first-team squad to Wiltshire.

That means fans can look forward to seeing the likes of Morgan Schneiderlin, Victor Wanyama, James Ward-Prowse, Nathaniel Clyne and new signing Graziano Pelle this evening, with kick-off scheduled for 7.45pm.

With that sort of quality on the pitch, Cooper is ready to see his players chasing the ball.

“Of course it’s going to be a tough ask for us,” he said. “I wouldn’t have thought we’d have new players in by then. If you take away the young boys and the injuries I think we’ve only got 13 or 14 players. The one they’ll get is plenty of fitness out of it because you’d expect Southampton to have plenty of the ball.

“It should be a good game with the way we play and the way they play. They’ve got a Dutch manager now and I’m sure they’ll play 4-3-3 and be very entertaining. We try to play football as well.”

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