TWO victories in their opening two games of the new season have settled Swindon Town’s players and coaching staff down, according to manager Mark Cooper.
The Robins drowned out the moans and groans of the summer with back-to-back victories in the opening four days of the new campaign, seeing off Scunthorpe United at the County Ground in League One last weekend and securing safe passage to the second round of the Capital One Cup with a 2-1 success at Luton Town on Tuesday night.
While the quality of Town’s football has been superb, results ultimately dictate the mood of a dressing room and Cooper has noticed the impact successive successes has had on his squad.
He said: “Obviously you’re very pleased when you win two games at the start because, sat in this position last week and being asked about the season ahead, you’re very apprehensive. You’re worried if you’ve done enough but when you start off and you get two wins it kind of settles everyone down a bit.
“It creates a little bit of belief within the changing room, within the fanbase, and hopefully it can kick us on to hopefully what is a really good start, not just two wins. Hopefully we can go on a really good run.”
Cooper puts his team’s fine start to the campaign, in part at least, down to the relatively calm pre-season they enjoyed in comparison to Swindon’s disrupted preparations for last season.
“Last season there was a really big overhaul of players and a revolving door whereas the group this year, although thin on the ground, has been very settled,” he said.
“During pre-season they’ve had a chance to get that togetherness. They’ve been away to army camps and places like that and they’ve forged a team spirit and a camaraderie. As young and as small as the group is, they seem to have got that.”
Town have wowed their fans with passing football in the opening week of the new term but Cooper still feels they have got plenty to work on going forward.
“I still think we can do it even better. We had Luton pressed right to the edge of their own box. They started with a three at the back and they ended as a five at the back or sometimes eight or nine, camped on the edge of their own box,” he said.
“It’s important when you get them there to keep them there. You have to wait and wait and wait for the right moment, for the gap to appear. We could have done that even better. We did it brilliantly well for the second goal.
“It was funny. I listened to the Luton commentary and the guy commentating kept saying ‘Swindon are content to keep passing it back to the goalkeeper’. Twenty seconds later it’s in the back of their net. It’s important we keep teams in when we’ve got them and keep playing.”