Cooper braced for higher expectations

Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper

First published in Sport

MARK Cooper agreed that expectations around Swindon Town could be heightened after his side romped to an opening-day victory over Scunthorpe United on Saturday.

Two goals from Michael Smith and one from Massimo Luongo paved the way to all three points for the Robins, who dominated their guests for large periods of an entertaining encounter at the County Ground.

Pre-season predictions of midtable mediocrity or worse were revised in many corners of the Swindon fanbase following the result and, when asked whether his team’s display could lead to exaggerated dreams of what might happen over the course of the campaign, Cooper told the Advertiser: “Possibly. I thought second half we were outstanding.

“Some of the football was expansive, we kept getting the wing-backs in, we should have scored five or six in my opinion and it could have been more generous than the scoreline was.

“If we can sort the problem out that we know we’ve got, with the naivety at the back, then who knows.

“I think word gets around about the way you play. People know that when they come here they’re going to have to work hard to stop us dominating the football. That’s what we’re all about. Today I thought we dominated the football brilliantly.”

Wes Foderingham was instrumental in the victory, saving well from Paddy Madden and Jennison Myrie-Williams as Town at times looked suspect in defence, but overall it was an attractive offering of attacking football, with Nathan Byrne, Yaser Kasim and Luongo the stand-out performers.

When asked whether he enjoyed his afternoon, Cooper said: “It’s never enjoyable until the referee says there’s one minute to go and you’re winning 3-1.

“In a funny kind of way you enjoy it but the only thing that matters really is winning.”

Byrne, restored to the right after spending the entirety of pre-season at left back, put in perhaps his most impressive shift in a Swindon shirt. And Cooper feels he and Brad Smith, who made his debut on the opposite flank against Scunthorpe, will offer Town plenty in 2014/15.

He said: “I thought he (Byrne) was outstanding. He caused problems getting behind them all the time and the more Brad Smith trains and gets used to us and the more we get used to him, the more we’ll see from him.

“I was pleased with Nathan Byrne because he’s had to play on the left all pre-season and he’s not moaned, he’s just got on with it. Today he showed what a real attacking threat he can be.”

FULL PREVIEW OF TUESDAY'S CAPITAL ONE CUP TIE AT LUTON IN TOMORROW'S ADVER

Comments (6)

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8:18am Mon 11 Aug 14

Is that you Lovesey says...

I have no heightened sense of expectation, going forward we look amazing, but three full backs in defence with Branco on the bench made no sense, Wes or Mass were the MOM for me, Scunny could have scored six or seven and everytime they lumped it we looked shaky, but to be fair we played well, both Thompsons were outstanding, the guy from Liverpool kept cutting inside which you dont need when you have a five man midfield, but I enjoyed the game thoroughly.
I have no heightened sense of expectation, going forward we look amazing, but three full backs in defence with Branco on the bench made no sense, Wes or Mass were the MOM for me, Scunny could have scored six or seven and everytime they lumped it we looked shaky, but to be fair we played well, both Thompsons were outstanding, the guy from Liverpool kept cutting inside which you dont need when you have a five man midfield, but I enjoyed the game thoroughly. Is that you Lovesey
  • Score: 5

3:59pm Mon 11 Aug 14

the wizard says...

I think MC is making a rod for his own back by saying this. I'd love us to romp the league and beat all teams verily along the way, but after waking up from that dream we all know that isn't likely to happen. Sadly.

Coops, you need to wait until certain points in the season before making such sweeping statements. Yes we all want your young charges to do well, however there is a raft of other teams and managers who will want to dampen our bomb fire. Teams ebb and flow with form through the season, and so do individual players, and with such a small squad that can make a big difference. The end of September will show us where we are and then again at Christmas and finally Easter, depending where it falls in the calender. Another 45 games to go, but, so far so good. Far too early to judge.
I think MC is making a rod for his own back by saying this. I'd love us to romp the league and beat all teams verily along the way, but after waking up from that dream we all know that isn't likely to happen. Sadly. Coops, you need to wait until certain points in the season before making such sweeping statements. Yes we all want your young charges to do well, however there is a raft of other teams and managers who will want to dampen our bomb fire. Teams ebb and flow with form through the season, and so do individual players, and with such a small squad that can make a big difference. The end of September will show us where we are and then again at Christmas and finally Easter, depending where it falls in the calender. Another 45 games to go, but, so far so good. Far too early to judge. the wizard
  • Score: 0

6:24pm Mon 11 Aug 14

dazzastfc says...

I have no expectation let alone high ones ,We won Saturday yes and played very well,but as Lovesey said we also could have lost...

We all know are defence is shaky and IF Stephans comes in we MIGHT be better at the back but playing 3 at the back left use so exposed it was shocking and nervy.Simple ball over the top or just straight theough the muddle...

I am not moaning or anything like that as Enjoyed.BUT as coops said there is a hell of a lot of work to do and not just with the
defence...
I have no expectation let alone high ones ,We won Saturday yes and played very well,but as Lovesey said we also could have lost... We all know are defence is shaky and IF Stephans comes in we MIGHT be better at the back but playing 3 at the back left use so exposed it was shocking and nervy.Simple ball over the top or just straight theough the muddle... I am not moaning or anything like that as Enjoyed.BUT as coops said there is a hell of a lot of work to do and not just with the defence... dazzastfc
  • Score: 1

8:17pm Mon 11 Aug 14

gibbo1012 says...

I think the problem coops has that if Lelan, turnbull and brad smith are fit they have to play hence why Thompson was at centre back and Branco on bench.

Bit naive at the back but looked dangerous going forward.

Average age of Saturdays team 21.1 years.

Quite amazing really

COYR
I think the problem coops has that if Lelan, turnbull and brad smith are fit they have to play hence why Thompson was at centre back and Branco on bench. Bit naive at the back but looked dangerous going forward. Average age of Saturdays team 21.1 years. Quite amazing really COYR gibbo1012
  • Score: 0

10:15pm Mon 11 Aug 14

The Jockster says...

dazzastfc wrote:
I have no expectation let alone high ones ,We won Saturday yes and played very well,but as Lovesey said we also could have lost...

We all know are defence is shaky and IF Stephans comes in we MIGHT be better at the back but playing 3 at the back left use so exposed it was shocking and nervy.Simple ball over the top or just straight theough the muddle...

I am not moaning or anything like that as Enjoyed.BUT as coops said there is a hell of a lot of work to do and not just with the
defence...
Dazz if Stephens comes in does that mean our defence could still be " Shakin Stevens"

Ok ok I'll get me coat!
[quote][p][bold]dazzastfc[/bold] wrote: I have no expectation let alone high ones ,We won Saturday yes and played very well,but as Lovesey said we also could have lost... We all know are defence is shaky and IF Stephans comes in we MIGHT be better at the back but playing 3 at the back left use so exposed it was shocking and nervy.Simple ball over the top or just straight theough the muddle... I am not moaning or anything like that as Enjoyed.BUT as coops said there is a hell of a lot of work to do and not just with the defence...[/p][/quote]Dazz if Stephens comes in does that mean our defence could still be " Shakin Stevens" Ok ok I'll get me coat! The Jockster
  • Score: 0

10:43pm Mon 11 Aug 14

TheDukeOfBanbury says...

45 games to go.
Slow down everybody.
Great winning the first game but wait until we play some top sides before we get carried away.
Defence looked all over the place Saturday. Get this sorted and I will feel more optimistic yet without getting carried away.
45 games to go. Slow down everybody. Great winning the first game but wait until we play some top sides before we get carried away. Defence looked all over the place Saturday. Get this sorted and I will feel more optimistic yet without getting carried away. TheDukeOfBanbury
  • Score: 1

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