MARK Cooper got exactly who he wanted in this summer’s window as he secured Jack Stephens and Jonathan Obika on transfer deadline day.
The Town boss has insisted over the opening weeks of the season he would only move for the right players and was working towards securing his targets. Though he had to wait a little longer than perhaps he would have liked, Cooper was feeling buoyant having secured his men.
Obika, a player the Robins’ chief had been looking at for a long time, arrived on Tuesday for a fee thought to be around £200,000 from Tottenham.
Later that night, the striker was figuratively followed through the doors at the County Ground by Jack Stephens, the defender who impressed in a short loan spell at Swindon last season on another loan deal, to complete Town’s transfer business.
A highly satisfied Cooper, sitting with his new charges either side of him at a press conference yesterday, was full of praise for Obika and Stephens.
“We’ve had to be really patient and we’ve had our targets all along. The two boys either side of me from the start were the ones I was constantly being asked about, without naming them, and the ones I wanted all along,” said Cooper. “It was getting late but it was really productive. It was a fantastic day for us, not losing anybody and getting our two main targets.
“We had to be patient, (for) probably a little bit longer than we wanted to but like I said all along, we weren’t just going to go for people for the sake of it.
“(I’m) really pleased, it’s the start of hopefully a long project for the football club. We’ve got a really good young squad in place, that I think can achieve whatever it wants to achieve.
“Jon’s come in as centre forward, I’ve watched him over a couple of years and very closely last year and the year before. Every time I saw him he impressed me.
“He’s one that we targeted last year and couldn’t quite get him. I think what’s helped getting Jon is there’s a number of boys he’s played with and have told him good things.
“Maybe it will give him a better opportunity to come here, where he knows a few of the boys and we’ll get him lots of chances. I know that, I know if he gets them he’ll score goals.
“Jack is known from the spell he had last year, where he was outstanding. He turned our season around last year, so we know exactly what we’re getting with Jack. From my point of view both of them are not a gamble at all.”