SWINDON TOWN: 'Wembley dream one step away'

Swindon Advertiser: Mark Cooper Mark Cooper

WIN tonight and Swindon Town can start dreaming of Wembley.

That’s the message from Robins manager Mark Cooper, who isn’t getting carried away by the prospect of a trip to English football’s HQ just yet.

Town face Stevenage in the southern section area semi-final of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy, with the winners of tonight’s clash set for a two-legged meeting with either Peterborough or Newport County to decide who gets the chance to grace the hallowed turf at Wembley on March 30.

That means Swindon are at still 270 minutes away from a trip to the Home of Football, but Cooper has said that a place in the area final would justify thoughts of what might come next.

“It will do if we get through tomorrow,” he said. “We’re still a way from it but if you win tomorrow then I think then you can realistically and naturally start to think about it.

“Once the game starts tomorrow I don’t think they’ll think about that.

“They’ll think it’s another game and they just want to win and play as well as they can.”

Swindon last entertained Stevenage back in August, when Massimo Luongo’s stunning strike - at the end of a long passing move - secured all three points for Town.

Four months on, Cooper feels Boro are developing as a side.

“I think it will be a totally different game,” he said. “Back then Graham Westley had not long been back and he’s been trying to implement a completely different style of game.

“It’s taken him a while but you can see by their results - they went to Peterborough and won - that they can get results.

“I’m just focusing on winning the game and getting the club a little bit closer to Wembley.

“I think it’s a totally different team to what Graham’s had before. They’re trying to play football, they’ve got some good footballers in the team and it’s a different test to what it used to be.

“You’ve still got to be able to defend set pieces - they’re very clever and they’ve got a few good set pieces - we’ll have to be strong and mentally switched on.

“I’d be happy if we play as well as we did that day. I thought we kept the ball very well and I thought the goal was probably one of our best this season.

“It was 20 or so passes before Massimo’s goal, we played very well that day and if we can recapture that form we’ll go very close to winning.”

After a 12-day break from competitive action, Cooper expects his players to be refreshed for tonight’s tie.

“It gave us a chance to get a little bit of rest into the players and get them nice and fresh. We’ll see tomorrow night,” he said.

“Obviously I’d have preferred to have been playing on Saturday but it gave us a chance to rest one or two and it gave me a chance to go and watch Stevenage.”

Comments (2)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

11:33am Tue 10 Dec 13

old town robin says...

We've been lucky to get a bye and then to be drawn at home for all 3 rounds. We need to take advantage of that tonight. They had a tough game Saturday and Cooper attended the match on a scouting mission, hopefully he learnt something but then again maybe Westley will make wholesale changes.

l don't expect Coops to name too many fringe players tonight, the revenue to the club if we win is too important to field an under strength team. With Byrne's out and Nat doubtful, it could be another chance for Barcham to shine. Thought he did really well against Torquay and surprised he hasn't had more opportunities, especially considering the injuries and yellow cards that we have had. He's a bit on the short side, but has a lot to offer IMO.
We've been lucky to get a bye and then to be drawn at home for all 3 rounds. We need to take advantage of that tonight. They had a tough game Saturday and Cooper attended the match on a scouting mission, hopefully he learnt something but then again maybe Westley will make wholesale changes. l don't expect Coops to name too many fringe players tonight, the revenue to the club if we win is too important to field an under strength team. With Byrne's out and Nat doubtful, it could be another chance for Barcham to shine. Thought he did really well against Torquay and surprised he hasn't had more opportunities, especially considering the injuries and yellow cards that we have had. He's a bit on the short side, but has a lot to offer IMO. old town robin

4:08pm Tue 10 Dec 13

Swindon1984 says...

Come on town - won't be an easy game but would hope they'll go out with the right attitude given what's at stake. Will be looking at the scores in the Peterborough game with interest too, come on Newport!
Come on town - won't be an easy game but would hope they'll go out with the right attitude given what's at stake. Will be looking at the scores in the Peterborough game with interest too, come on Newport! Swindon1984

Comments are closed on this article.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree