Get involved! Send photos, video, news & views. Text SWINDON NEWS to 80360 or email us
SWINDON TOWN: Boss won't ask side to change style despite disciplinary record
THE fact Swindon Town sit third-bottom of the League One fair play table doesn’t bother Mark Cooper, and the Robins boss isn’t about to ask his players to change the way they go about their business.
Town have racked up 28 yellow cards and one red in their first 12 league games this term, with only Tranmere Rovers and Rotherham United boasting a worse disciplinary record.
However, Cooper feels his players are being harshly punished for mistimed tackles rather than reckless offences and he is loathe to tell them to cut the battling qualities out of their games, as Swindon look to extend their winning streak to five matches against Walsall tonight.
“Very rarely has it been for dissent and I think nowadays you don’t have to do a lot to get booked,” Cooper told the Advertiser.
“I think with the directives that (referees) are getting about what a player is supposed to be booked for - as you saw with the Nathan Byrne sending-off (at MK Dons) - it’s very difficult to get to Christmas without picking up five yellow cards, if you’re a midfield player or defender. It’s very difficult.
“They want to win, if they lose the ball they want to get it back quickly and it’s mistimed challenges.
“You can easily get booked.
“I don’t think anyone who’s watched us play would describe us as an aggressive, dirty team.
“We haven’t got any of those kind of players in the team.
“We’ve got a will to win, a desire and I’m certainly not going to try to knock that out of them.
Jay McEveley and Yaser Kasim have each amassed four booking so far this season and the two players run the risk of a one-match ban should they accrue a further caution, while Massimo Luongo and Ryan Mason have each received three yellow cards.
Nathan Thompson and Alex Pritchard have already served suspensions for their cumulative card counts.
“We can’t do anything about that,” said Cooper.
“If they get booked, they get booked and they miss a game. We’ve got replacements that can the fill void.
“If they get booked, they get booked - we just hope it’s not in the same game.”