Town boss knows his defence still needs work

Cooper admits there's still work to do at the back

Cooper admits there's still work to do at the back

First published in Sport The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Photograph of the Author by , Deputy sports editor, awarren@swindonadvertiser.co.uk, @AndyWarren_

SWINDON boss Mark Cooper admitted there is still work to be done on his side’s defence following their 4-1 victory over an Aston Villa XI this afternoon.

Ben Gladwin scored twice and Louis Thompson and Andy Williams once as Town disposed of a youthful Villa side, including first team players Matt Lowton and Joe Bennett, with the Robins’ midfield dominant over their largely teenage opposition.

However, there were still some shaky moments for the back three of Josh Lelan, Raphael Branco and potential loan signing Jordan Turnbull, with Cooper admitting they are far from the finished article.

“It was a useful exercise for us and we’ve managed to get through with no injuries, a week before the season, and we’ve scored some goal,” he said.

“Yes it was a young Aston Villa team with a couple of first team players in it but overall I think we did okay.

“I learnt we need to do some work on our shape of the back three, getting caught with a long ball over the top, and maybe take less risks when playing out from the back because at times it’s heart attack material.

“We have two boys in there who are new in Jordan Turnbull and Josh Lelan, and we could have another one or two defenders coming so it is a new defence and it’s going to take time.

“We have to do as much work as we can this week to make sure it’s a little bit tighter.

“We want to play the defence high so we consistently press the opposition into their own half and not give them a chance to get out.”

Town’s new style of play, with three centre-halves flanked by two attacking full-backs, requires goalkeeper Wes Foderingham to act as a sweeper and, despite a couple of heart in mouth moments, Cooper has been pleased with how his stopper has adapted.

“Wes, I’ve had a chat with him and he has to understand that when it’s not on he sometimes has to kick it in the stand,” he said.

“He’s the best goalkeeper and he’s improved 100 per cent in playing the ball out the back with his feet, and he’s a very good goalkeeper so we’re very happy.

Cooper was also full of praise for midfielder Ben Gladwin’s display, which saw the former Marlow man score twice from the centre of midfield.

“We know Ben’s got that and it’s about him producing it on the big stage, so if he can do that we’ve got a helluva player because he’s got ridiculous ability,” Cooper said.

“He’s another one in our list of very good midfield players. I wanted Ben playing up in behind Michael Smith because he’s got goals in him and he can go past people.

“In my opinion he can play anywhere on the pitch because he’s got tremendous ability.”

Comments (18)

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8:24pm Sat 2 Aug 14

dazzastfc says...

I think this is the first time i have liked what cooper has said..
Pushing platers up the pitch..
Not playing so deep AND when a player is in trouble just get it out and stop putting ourselfs under so much pressure...
But today we were playing boys and the hard work will start next Saturday when are boys will be playing against men that are a lot more Stronger minded physical teams..

GOOF LUCK
I think this is the first time i have liked what cooper has said.. Pushing platers up the pitch.. Not playing so deep AND when a player is in trouble just get it out and stop putting ourselfs under so much pressure... But today we were playing boys and the hard work will start next Saturday when are boys will be playing against men that are a lot more Stronger minded physical teams.. GOOF LUCK dazzastfc
  • Score: 9

8:30pm Sat 2 Aug 14

CraigClark says...

I'm not surprised to be honest, 3 young defenders that have only played together for a week. The real test starts next week. COYR!
I'm not surprised to be honest, 3 young defenders that have only played together for a week. The real test starts next week. COYR! CraigClark
  • Score: 0

9:14pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Wayne Allison Bromham says...

Thought we played well today on the whole. Looks threatening going forward and very creative in the middle of the park. But the defence looks to be all over the place. Branco looks ok but could so with an old head next to him, however the new lad Turnbull looked way off the pace to me making lots of mistake. Lelan looked a bit more solid but no pace. We need some senior players/solid defenders in ASAP or can see us leaking goals for fun against the good teams anyway. Kasim, louis Thompson and Gladwin were the pick of the bunch for me today
Thought we played well today on the whole. Looks threatening going forward and very creative in the middle of the park. But the defence looks to be all over the place. Branco looks ok but could so with an old head next to him, however the new lad Turnbull looked way off the pace to me making lots of mistake. Lelan looked a bit more solid but no pace. We need some senior players/solid defenders in ASAP or can see us leaking goals for fun against the good teams anyway. Kasim, louis Thompson and Gladwin were the pick of the bunch for me today Wayne Allison Bromham
  • Score: 3

9:55pm Sat 2 Aug 14

Paul12001 says...

I think there are defensive frailties which will hopefully be resolved with Jack Stephens signing and hopefully Brad Smith. Behind them though Wes has been a different character with the ball at his feet so far spraying passes about like a playmaker, it's great to see, just hope nobody comes in for him.

Ben Gladwin was excellent today and I expect big things from him
I think there are defensive frailties which will hopefully be resolved with Jack Stephens signing and hopefully Brad Smith. Behind them though Wes has been a different character with the ball at his feet so far spraying passes about like a playmaker, it's great to see, just hope nobody comes in for him. Ben Gladwin was excellent today and I expect big things from him Paul12001
  • Score: 9

9:25am Sun 3 Aug 14

Redgollum says...

If Wes has to be our playmaker, we are in trouble. Less than a week before it all starts. Cooper is not sure of the defence & no decent striker. Cooper has had 2 months to sort it, but the only real signing is a midfield player from Derby for a month. If he is any good, they will take him back.
If Wes has to be our playmaker, we are in trouble. Less than a week before it all starts. Cooper is not sure of the defence & no decent striker. Cooper has had 2 months to sort it, but the only real signing is a midfield player from Derby for a month. If he is any good, they will take him back. Redgollum
  • Score: 0

10:14am Sun 3 Aug 14

Psychedelic Syd says...

If we can't sign a central defender, convert Gladwin to one. He's big, not easily knocked off the ball, stròng in the tackle, reads the game well and his distribution is good. It would mean we could still play Louis, Mass and Kasim in midfield.
If we can't sign a central defender, convert Gladwin to one. He's big, not easily knocked off the ball, stròng in the tackle, reads the game well and his distribution is good. It would mean we could still play Louis, Mass and Kasim in midfield. Psychedelic Syd
  • Score: 7

10:41am Sun 3 Aug 14

Robinonfire says...

Power should call Rangers agent and offer him a month by month contract.......Coope
r urgently needs forwards for L1.
Power should call Rangers agent and offer him a month by month contract.......Coope r urgently needs forwards for L1. Robinonfire
  • Score: 1

10:41am Sun 3 Aug 14

old town robin says...

Redgollum wrote:
If Wes has to be our playmaker, we are in trouble. Less than a week before it all starts. Cooper is not sure of the defence & no decent striker. Cooper has had 2 months to sort it, but the only real signing is a midfield player from Derby for a month. If he is any good, they will take him back.
Agree totally, I don't understand where Cooper is going with some of his bizarre tactics, playing Wes as a sweeper what's that all about? He might get away with it against some Villa kids, but come next Saturday it's just asking for trouble. Several games ago he played Kasim as a sweeper and he filled the need admirably, it precisely addressed the need to take care of the balls over the top when our back 3 are caught flat footed, he cleaned up any loose ends and proved to be well suited as a play maker from the back. why did he not stick with fine tuning something that potentially was sound? Now it's all changed he wants to play a higher line of defence, even though he hasn't yet got a defence that are suited for such a tactic.

We saw enough format changes last season Mr Cooper which at times proved you to be very naive and it was very costly to us dropping points with soft goals conceded, especially away from home and even worse poor results against bottom of the league teams. You are not experienced enough coach to keep changing the way we play, keep it simple, get your best 11 sorted to play to their strengths, stop tinkering with ideas you've seen the Barcelona's of the world adopt and make sure your number one priority is not to ship shed loads of goals due to your inept tactics.

We know the team are young and lack experience, but most fans will get behind them and lend their support, but the person who needs to improve the most Mr Cooper is yourself, the way you set the team up, your tactical substitutions, the discipline all stems from your leadership. This season your excuses of poor pitches, poor refereeing, players fault, will not wash, your supposed to be the manager/coach now go and show us you know what you're about and good luck for the coming season
[quote][p][bold]Redgollum[/bold] wrote: If Wes has to be our playmaker, we are in trouble. Less than a week before it all starts. Cooper is not sure of the defence & no decent striker. Cooper has had 2 months to sort it, but the only real signing is a midfield player from Derby for a month. If he is any good, they will take him back.[/p][/quote]Agree totally, I don't understand where Cooper is going with some of his bizarre tactics, playing Wes as a sweeper what's that all about? He might get away with it against some Villa kids, but come next Saturday it's just asking for trouble. Several games ago he played Kasim as a sweeper and he filled the need admirably, it precisely addressed the need to take care of the balls over the top when our back 3 are caught flat footed, he cleaned up any loose ends and proved to be well suited as a play maker from the back. why did he not stick with fine tuning something that potentially was sound? Now it's all changed he wants to play a higher line of defence, even though he hasn't yet got a defence that are suited for such a tactic. We saw enough format changes last season Mr Cooper which at times proved you to be very naive and it was very costly to us dropping points with soft goals conceded, especially away from home and even worse poor results against bottom of the league teams. You are not experienced enough coach to keep changing the way we play, keep it simple, get your best 11 sorted to play to their strengths, stop tinkering with ideas you've seen the Barcelona's of the world adopt and make sure your number one priority is not to ship shed loads of goals due to your inept tactics. We know the team are young and lack experience, but most fans will get behind them and lend their support, but the person who needs to improve the most Mr Cooper is yourself, the way you set the team up, your tactical substitutions, the discipline all stems from your leadership. This season your excuses of poor pitches, poor refereeing, players fault, will not wash, your supposed to be the manager/coach now go and show us you know what you're about and good luck for the coming season old town robin
  • Score: 4

10:59am Sun 3 Aug 14

Chish and Fips says...

Robinonfire wrote:
Power should call Rangers agent and offer him a month by month contract.......Coope

r urgently needs forwards for L1.
By the sound of it, it is the defence is the priority, not sure bringing NR would be very wise, we have had our fingers burnt there already, great player too much baggage.
I'd be looking for some 'centre-half' experienced brick whotsit house type, who would marshal and shout that defence about ... Gordon Greer was that type in my opinion.
[quote][p][bold]Robinonfire[/bold] wrote: Power should call Rangers agent and offer him a month by month contract.......Coope r urgently needs forwards for L1.[/p][/quote]By the sound of it, it is the defence is the priority, not sure bringing NR would be very wise, we have had our fingers burnt there already, great player too much baggage. I'd be looking for some 'centre-half' experienced brick whotsit house type, who would marshal and shout that defence about ... Gordon Greer was that type in my opinion. Chish and Fips
  • Score: 8

11:02am Sun 3 Aug 14

Chish and Fips says...

old town robin wrote:
Redgollum wrote:
If Wes has to be our playmaker, we are in trouble. Less than a week before it all starts. Cooper is not sure of the defence & no decent striker. Cooper has had 2 months to sort it, but the only real signing is a midfield player from Derby for a month. If he is any good, they will take him back.
Agree totally, I don't understand where Cooper is going with some of his bizarre tactics, playing Wes as a sweeper what's that all about? He might get away with it against some Villa kids, but come next Saturday it's just asking for trouble. Several games ago he played Kasim as a sweeper and he filled the need admirably, it precisely addressed the need to take care of the balls over the top when our back 3 are caught flat footed, he cleaned up any loose ends and proved to be well suited as a play maker from the back. why did he not stick with fine tuning something that potentially was sound? Now it's all changed he wants to play a higher line of defence, even though he hasn't yet got a defence that are suited for such a tactic.

We saw enough format changes last season Mr Cooper which at times proved you to be very naive and it was very costly to us dropping points with soft goals conceded, especially away from home and even worse poor results against bottom of the league teams. You are not experienced enough coach to keep changing the way we play, keep it simple, get your best 11 sorted to play to their strengths, stop tinkering with ideas you've seen the Barcelona's of the world adopt and make sure your number one priority is not to ship shed loads of goals due to your inept tactics.

We know the team are young and lack experience, but most fans will get behind them and lend their support, but the person who needs to improve the most Mr Cooper is yourself, the way you set the team up, your tactical substitutions, the discipline all stems from your leadership. This season your excuses of poor pitches, poor refereeing, players fault, will not wash, your supposed to be the manager/coach now go and show us you know what you're about and good luck for the coming season
Didn't the German national team in the World Cup play their keeper in that role as sweeper . OTR .... different class I know...
[quote][p][bold]old town robin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Redgollum[/bold] wrote: If Wes has to be our playmaker, we are in trouble. Less than a week before it all starts. Cooper is not sure of the defence & no decent striker. Cooper has had 2 months to sort it, but the only real signing is a midfield player from Derby for a month. If he is any good, they will take him back.[/p][/quote]Agree totally, I don't understand where Cooper is going with some of his bizarre tactics, playing Wes as a sweeper what's that all about? He might get away with it against some Villa kids, but come next Saturday it's just asking for trouble. Several games ago he played Kasim as a sweeper and he filled the need admirably, it precisely addressed the need to take care of the balls over the top when our back 3 are caught flat footed, he cleaned up any loose ends and proved to be well suited as a play maker from the back. why did he not stick with fine tuning something that potentially was sound? Now it's all changed he wants to play a higher line of defence, even though he hasn't yet got a defence that are suited for such a tactic. We saw enough format changes last season Mr Cooper which at times proved you to be very naive and it was very costly to us dropping points with soft goals conceded, especially away from home and even worse poor results against bottom of the league teams. You are not experienced enough coach to keep changing the way we play, keep it simple, get your best 11 sorted to play to their strengths, stop tinkering with ideas you've seen the Barcelona's of the world adopt and make sure your number one priority is not to ship shed loads of goals due to your inept tactics. We know the team are young and lack experience, but most fans will get behind them and lend their support, but the person who needs to improve the most Mr Cooper is yourself, the way you set the team up, your tactical substitutions, the discipline all stems from your leadership. This season your excuses of poor pitches, poor refereeing, players fault, will not wash, your supposed to be the manager/coach now go and show us you know what you're about and good luck for the coming season[/p][/quote]Didn't the German national team in the World Cup play their keeper in that role as sweeper . OTR .... different class I know... Chish and Fips
  • Score: 7

11:43am Sun 3 Aug 14

South Stand says...

Robinonfire wrote:
Power should call Rangers agent and offer him a month by month contract.......Coope

r urgently needs forwards for L1.
Let's just hope that nobody puts you out eh.
[quote][p][bold]Robinonfire[/bold] wrote: Power should call Rangers agent and offer him a month by month contract.......Coope r urgently needs forwards for L1.[/p][/quote]Let's just hope that nobody puts you out eh. South Stand
  • Score: -1

12:07pm Sun 3 Aug 14

EastleazeRed says...

I think everyone one of you should forget about football for the day and go to the pub.
I think everyone one of you should forget about football for the day and go to the pub. EastleazeRed
  • Score: 3

4:18pm Sun 3 Aug 14

red white says...

What will happen is we will spank Scuntorpe 3-0 and we'll all be singing on our way home through tha' Magic Roundabout.
What will happen is we will spank Scuntorpe 3-0 and we'll all be singing on our way home through tha' Magic Roundabout. red white
  • Score: 2

9:26pm Sun 3 Aug 14

old town robin says...

Chish and Fips wrote:
old town robin wrote:
Redgollum wrote:
If Wes has to be our playmaker, we are in trouble. Less than a week before it all starts. Cooper is not sure of the defence & no decent striker. Cooper has had 2 months to sort it, but the only real signing is a midfield player from Derby for a month. If he is any good, they will take him back.
Agree totally, I don't understand where Cooper is going with some of his bizarre tactics, playing Wes as a sweeper what's that all about? He might get away with it against some Villa kids, but come next Saturday it's just asking for trouble. Several games ago he played Kasim as a sweeper and he filled the need admirably, it precisely addressed the need to take care of the balls over the top when our back 3 are caught flat footed, he cleaned up any loose ends and proved to be well suited as a play maker from the back. why did he not stick with fine tuning something that potentially was sound? Now it's all changed he wants to play a higher line of defence, even though he hasn't yet got a defence that are suited for such a tactic.

We saw enough format changes last season Mr Cooper which at times proved you to be very naive and it was very costly to us dropping points with soft goals conceded, especially away from home and even worse poor results against bottom of the league teams. You are not experienced enough coach to keep changing the way we play, keep it simple, get your best 11 sorted to play to their strengths, stop tinkering with ideas you've seen the Barcelona's of the world adopt and make sure your number one priority is not to ship shed loads of goals due to your inept tactics.

We know the team are young and lack experience, but most fans will get behind them and lend their support, but the person who needs to improve the most Mr Cooper is yourself, the way you set the team up, your tactical substitutions, the discipline all stems from your leadership. This season your excuses of poor pitches, poor refereeing, players fault, will not wash, your supposed to be the manager/coach now go and show us you know what you're about and good luck for the coming season
Didn't the German national team in the World Cup play their keeper in that role as sweeper . OTR .... different class I know...
Well Chish, I did say he has been watching too much of how Barcelona play, forgot about the German tactics, but the message is the same, does he really think we have the quality of players to play the same as the World Champions. lol
[quote][p][bold]Chish and Fips[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]old town robin[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Redgollum[/bold] wrote: If Wes has to be our playmaker, we are in trouble. Less than a week before it all starts. Cooper is not sure of the defence & no decent striker. Cooper has had 2 months to sort it, but the only real signing is a midfield player from Derby for a month. If he is any good, they will take him back.[/p][/quote]Agree totally, I don't understand where Cooper is going with some of his bizarre tactics, playing Wes as a sweeper what's that all about? He might get away with it against some Villa kids, but come next Saturday it's just asking for trouble. Several games ago he played Kasim as a sweeper and he filled the need admirably, it precisely addressed the need to take care of the balls over the top when our back 3 are caught flat footed, he cleaned up any loose ends and proved to be well suited as a play maker from the back. why did he not stick with fine tuning something that potentially was sound? Now it's all changed he wants to play a higher line of defence, even though he hasn't yet got a defence that are suited for such a tactic. We saw enough format changes last season Mr Cooper which at times proved you to be very naive and it was very costly to us dropping points with soft goals conceded, especially away from home and even worse poor results against bottom of the league teams. You are not experienced enough coach to keep changing the way we play, keep it simple, get your best 11 sorted to play to their strengths, stop tinkering with ideas you've seen the Barcelona's of the world adopt and make sure your number one priority is not to ship shed loads of goals due to your inept tactics. We know the team are young and lack experience, but most fans will get behind them and lend their support, but the person who needs to improve the most Mr Cooper is yourself, the way you set the team up, your tactical substitutions, the discipline all stems from your leadership. This season your excuses of poor pitches, poor refereeing, players fault, will not wash, your supposed to be the manager/coach now go and show us you know what you're about and good luck for the coming season[/p][/quote]Didn't the German national team in the World Cup play their keeper in that role as sweeper . OTR .... different class I know...[/p][/quote]Well Chish, I did say he has been watching too much of how Barcelona play, forgot about the German tactics, but the message is the same, does he really think we have the quality of players to play the same as the World Champions. lol old town robin
  • Score: 0

12:30pm Mon 4 Aug 14

Wilesy says...

Last season a lot of our defending was desperately risky, and that was with 4 at the back with some strength and some experience. Yet now we move to a weaker, younger, back 3 with Wes sweeping. I've only seen the Leeds friendly but a big alarm bell was ringing - too many one on one situations, too often we looked a man short at the back post, and Wes could have walked for the penalty when 'sweeping'. Looks a very dubious tactic to me. Surely the basics of football is to keep it tight at the back for starters?
Last season a lot of our defending was desperately risky, and that was with 4 at the back with some strength and some experience. Yet now we move to a weaker, younger, back 3 with Wes sweeping. I've only seen the Leeds friendly but a big alarm bell was ringing - too many one on one situations, too often we looked a man short at the back post, and Wes could have walked for the penalty when 'sweeping'. Looks a very dubious tactic to me. Surely the basics of football is to keep it tight at the back for starters? Wilesy
  • Score: 3

4:42pm Mon 4 Aug 14

STFC Boyo says...

Dose any1 know when the squad numbers r out?
Dose any1 know when the squad numbers r out? STFC Boyo
  • Score: -1

8:50pm Mon 4 Aug 14

mcenirm says...

STFC Boyo wrote:
Dose any1 know when the squad numbers r out?
Maybe tomorrow when they have team photo.
[quote][p][bold]STFC Boyo[/bold] wrote: Dose any1 know when the squad numbers r out?[/p][/quote]Maybe tomorrow when they have team photo. mcenirm
  • Score: 0

10:57pm Mon 4 Aug 14

red white says...

Love you Coooops,you are a Star!

We are Swindon,we 'll do what we want xxxxxxx.
Love you Coooops,you are a Star! We are Swindon,we 'll do what we want xxxxxxx. red white
  • Score: -1

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