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Swindon Town boss has plenty of options at full-back
MARK Cooper will have a selection headache at the Lamex Stadium tonight as the Swindon Town manager finds himself overloaded with full-back options.
Jay McEveley has responded well to treatment in recent days and the left-back, originally expected to be out for as long as a month after injurying his knee at Bradford City on December 29, is reportedly ready to play a part in the trip to Stevenage.
Cooper, who takes his side to Hertfordshire in search of their third away win in League One this season, also has Nathan Thompson, Nathan Byrne and Jack Barthram at his disposal, while Grant Hall did a sterling job filling in for McEveley at full-back during the 2-1 victory over Peterborough United on Saturday.
When asked whether he would continue to play Hall in wide defence, Cooper said: “It’s horses for courses. We knew Peterborough were set-pieces were a threat so we wanted another big defender in the team and it worked.
“Grant’s played there before and I thought he did well.”
Cooper expects Stevenage to be looking for revenge when they host the Robins tonight.
Boro sit rock bottom of League One, having picked up only 19 points from their 24 games thus far this term, and have not won any of their last seven league matches.
They have also been beaten by Town twice this season - 1-0 in the league at the County Ground in August and on penalties in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy last month.
Cooper, therefore, expects the hosts to want to exercise a little retribution.
“We know what’s coming with Stevenage,” he said. “They will have a point to prove after the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy semi-final against us.
Ryan Harley is also fit enough to be included in Cooper’s matchday squad this evening while Nile Ranger is expected to start after reportedly turning up for training on time on Monday.
“Jay will be involved, he’s in the squad but it’s whether we change the back four or put him straight back in. That’s the conundrum we have got,” Cooper told BBC Wiltshire.
“We would have no problem keeping Grant (Hall) at left back, he played there for Brighton and he’s a good enough player that he could probably play in any position in defence or midfield.
“Ryan (Harley) had tonsillitis. He had it Thursday, Friday and over the weekend but he’s come back in and trained this morning.
“Obviously anyone who’s had that will know it can knock you sideways so he’s just getting his strength back but he will involved tomorrow in the squad.”
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