TOWN boss Mark Cooper has revealed he could switch striker Nile Ranger to the heart of the Town defence if needed.

The former Newcastle front man has got better and better with every game since his move to Wiltshire in August and has quickly become the focus of the Robins’ attack with five goals in 13 starts.

But with options limited at the back beyond first choice central pair Darren Ward and Grant Hall, Cooper would consider switching the 22-year-old to a different position and believes Ranger has all the skills necessary to make the change.

Jay McEveley’s suspension for today’s trip to Oldham only highlights Town’s shortage at the back, and while switching Ranger to the heart of the defence would not be his preferred move, Cooper has revealed moving the striker back could be a serious alternative in the future.

“We’ve got (Raphael Rossi) Branco who can play there and Nathan Thompson and Nile Ranger who can play centre-back, so we have options,” he said.

“Jay’s experience has been key and he uses it well and while I’m sure we’ll miss him I’m even more sure the boys that come in will be a more than adequate replacement.

“You’ve seen the way Nile heads the ball, he’s fantastic in the air, and he’s got very good feet so he’s got all the makings of a centre-half.

“If we felt it was the right game I would have no qualms about him playing there and he’s done it in training, but we do have other options available as well.”

Meanwhile, Cooper has praised the Swindon fans for staying with the team throughout Tuesday night’s defeat to Walsall.

“They kept with us when we needed them and when it could have been easy for the crowd to turn they stayed with us,” he said.

“They were brilliant and stayed with the team and I’d like to thank them for that because they can see what we’re trying to do.”