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Christmas period won't define Town
SWINDON Town may face three of their League One promotion contenders in the space of eight days over Christmas, but manager Mark Cooper does not feel the festive period will be “definitive”.
Cooper, whose Robins side entertain Coventry City tomorrow before travelling to Brentford and Bradford before the turn of the year, feels 15 victories from Town’s remaining 25 league games will be enough to secure a play-off place.
And therefore, even if Swindon failed to register a single point from their yuletide triple-header, the Town boss thinks a top-six spot would still be well within their grasp.
“It’s a big Christmas period for us but it won’t be definitive because we have to get a certain amount of points which at the end of the season determines whether we get promotion or the play-offs,” he said.
“I’m looking at that end of the table now from where we’ve come and we talk about the play-offs now all the time. I think we need to win 15 games out of 25, I think that gets you in the play-offs.
“We’ve not set a target but 15 games gets us where we want to be.
“We’ll take every game and look at Coventry, we hope we get through that with no injuries, we’ll decide if we need to freshen people up who have played at their maximum for when we go to Brentford on Boxing Day.”
Cooper conceded that his team has been too timid to attack away from home in recent weeks, a scar he feels was caused by miserable defeats at Moss Rose and Boundary Park earlier in the campaign.
“Away from home (we’ve been too careful). The players went to Macclesfield and Oldham and didn’t perform properly and threw points away through being carefree,” he said.
“We had to do something, we had to put the handcuffs on them and ground them and make them aware that it’s not all about getting everyone forward and attacking.
“You’ve got a responsibility to defend as well, so we did that and we went to Colchester and won. We went to Crawley and we drew, we were on target to get a draw last week but we were sloppy.
“When you play like that and you don’t win or you don’t get anything the sense of frustration is galling. That was born out of our performances at Macclesfield, Oldham and other away games where we looked as though we could concede a goal every time a team attacked.
“This week there has been a lot of soul-searching, we know the players want to attack but we have to have the responsibility of they go on a run and give it away, they’ve got to get back.”
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