SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper has suggested it would be wise not to read too much into the result of tomorrow’s League One opener against Scunthorpe United, regardless of the outcome.
Town kick off the new season against newly-promoted Iron, who have splashed the cash over the summer to assemble a squad bristling with Football League know-how.
Manager Russ Wilcox has the likes of Deon Burton, Miguel Llera, Gary McSheffrey, Jennison Myrie-Williams and Paddy Madden at his disposal, and Scunny look set to challenge for a play-off place in 2014/15, but Cooper stressed that anything can happen on the first afternoon of a League One term.
“The first game of the season throws up some freak scorelines, it throws up freak results. It’s difficult to read too much into the first game of the season. We see it every year up and down the leagues,” he said. “They are a very experienced team - they’ve just signed Miguel Llera, who’s had a great career in England, they’ve got Deon Burton, Neale Bishop - people who have played up and down the leagues. They’re going down that route, that’s right for them and I’m sure throughout the season they’ll get some very positive results.
“We’ve just got to try to put our stamp on the way we play the game and hope we’re a real test for Scunthorpe.”
Cooper believes Scunthorpe may try to intimidate his young team in the early moments of this weekend’s game but he has backed his players to be tough enough to deal with such tactics.
“We try to start fast, get hold of the ball and not give it back to them but they’ll have something to say about that themselves. I’m sure their manager will be saying ‘they’re a really young team, let’s get after them and intimidate them’. I’m confident that my lads will stand up to that,” he said. “Scunthorpe have had a lot of success playing 4-4-2, most of pre-season they’ve been playing 4-4-2 and last week at half-time against Leicester they switched to a 4-3-3 and scored three goals. I’m not sure whether they’ll play 4-4-2 or 4-3-3; whatever system they choose they’ve got players that can hurt you.
“Deon Burton, they’ve signed Lyle Taylor from Sheffield United and they’ve got firepower, but we’re at home and we’re fully aware of their threats. We’ll try initially to concentrate on us.”