SWINDON TOWN: Cooper targets Walsall revenge

Swindon Advertiser: Town boss Mark Cooper Town boss Mark Cooper

SWINDON Town will be looking for payback when they make the trip to Walsall tonight, according to manager Mark Cooper.

Back in October, two goals from Ashley Hemmings and one from Sam Mantom gave the Saddlers’ a comprehensive 3-1 victory at the County Ground, as Town were totally outplayed by their Midlands guests.

Fastforward three months and Swindon have an opportunity to set the record straight and, despite having watched his side win just twice away from home in League One this term, Cooper sees no reason why the Robins can’t pick up all three points at the Banks’s Stadium.

“We spoke about Walsall. They came here and gave us a bit of a doing,” he said. “They were very worthy winners on the night. We have to make sure we’re right and try to get a little bit of payback.

“They came and pressed us and invited us to play out from the back then took it off us in bad areas for us and scored three goals. We didn’t have enough on the night, we didn’t play well enough on the night to beat the way they pressed us.

“They were tactically very good.”

Walsall’s ability to hit Swindon hard on the counter-attack was the principle factor behind their success at the County Ground earlier in the campaign but Cooper is not about to change the way Town set out to play football to nullify that threat on the break.

“When you see them play they can counter-attack. They’ve got a system where they’ve got pace out wide and they try to break quickly. I’ve seen them play against Stevenage and they absolutely murdered them. Home or away they can hurt you,” he said.

“We play with three midfield players and we’ve done a bit of work on that today. Walsall have got their way and we’ve got ours and it’s about whose works best on the night.

“We’re still trying to do things the same way, within reason, and it’s about what happens on the night. If we go there and play as well as we can then we’ve got a chance of winning a game.

“We have to stick to what we believe in.

“We’re not going to change things drastically where we come up with something we’ve not worked on. We have to get the ball down and play at the right times, without taking risks, and hope our flair players perform on the night.”

Meanwhile, Cooper has to decide whether or not he can accommodate both Michael Smith and Nile Ranger in the same starting line-up after both scored against Shrewsbury at the weekend.

Smith bagged two goals on his debut, the second set up by Ranger, who netted in the 89th minute to send Swindon to victory. However, Cooper is loathe to change to a 4-4-2 from the start.

“I try to judge players on whether I’d want to play against them,” he said. “I wouldn’t want to play against them week in, week out but we do play 4-3-3 so we have to come up with a way that it’s not square pegs in round holes if we are to play them in the same team.”

Comments (3)

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6:23am Tue 28 Jan 14

grove red says...

We will have to be at our best to beat walsall i thought they were one of the best teams we have played this season, would like us to play with ranger and smith up front tonight get the ball to the wide players and get some crosses in for ranger and smith. COYR
We will have to be at our best to beat walsall i thought they were one of the best teams we have played this season, would like us to play with ranger and smith up front tonight get the ball to the wide players and get some crosses in for ranger and smith. COYR grove red

8:34am Tue 28 Jan 14

old town robin says...

grove red wrote:
We will have to be at our best to beat walsall i thought they were one of the best teams we have played this season, would like us to play with ranger and smith up front tonight get the ball to the wide players and get some crosses in for ranger and smith. COYR
Agree with you Grove, they are the best team that have played us at home. Cooper had watched their previous game to ours and apparently learned nothing as we were outplayed and had no plan B to counter act how they took us apart..

Hopefully this time he should know how they are going to play, they will want to take command of the midfield , take no prisoners, get in our face and give the likes of Kasim and Luango no time on the ball, then they will break with getting the ball out wide, so Nat and Jay (if he plays), had better not get too far forward and leave our vulnerable centre backs exposed.

IMO they are no better than us, it's all about tactics and last time out , their manager had done his homework a whole lot better than Coops had on his scouting mission. I don't know what their weaknesses are, but they must have one or two, otherwise they wouldn't have dropped so many points at home. We have to go there with a plan like we did QPR, keep a clean sheet and who knows what might happen. A draw would be considered a good result, the optimist in me would like more, but the reality tells me not to be too disappointed if it's loss number 10 on the road as long as we give a good account of ourselves and not roll over like we have just recently against a team like Stevenage that Walsall just put 5 past.
[quote][p][bold]grove red[/bold] wrote: We will have to be at our best to beat walsall i thought they were one of the best teams we have played this season, would like us to play with ranger and smith up front tonight get the ball to the wide players and get some crosses in for ranger and smith. COYR[/p][/quote]Agree with you Grove, they are the best team that have played us at home. Cooper had watched their previous game to ours and apparently learned nothing as we were outplayed and had no plan B to counter act how they took us apart.. Hopefully this time he should know how they are going to play, they will want to take command of the midfield , take no prisoners, get in our face and give the likes of Kasim and Luango no time on the ball, then they will break with getting the ball out wide, so Nat and Jay (if he plays), had better not get too far forward and leave our vulnerable centre backs exposed. IMO they are no better than us, it's all about tactics and last time out , their manager had done his homework a whole lot better than Coops had on his scouting mission. I don't know what their weaknesses are, but they must have one or two, otherwise they wouldn't have dropped so many points at home. We have to go there with a plan like we did QPR, keep a clean sheet and who knows what might happen. A draw would be considered a good result, the optimist in me would like more, but the reality tells me not to be too disappointed if it's loss number 10 on the road as long as we give a good account of ourselves and not roll over like we have just recently against a team like Stevenage that Walsall just put 5 past. old town robin

10:06am Tue 28 Jan 14

Graham8181 says...

I am surprised Walsall are not top of is division. they look a different class to everyone else in this division
I am surprised Walsall are not top of is division. they look a different class to everyone else in this division Graham8181

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