SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper faces a major selection headache when his side visit Peterborough United tonight, with injuries, suspension, ineligibility and competition rules combining to leave the Robins boss in an unenviable position.
Cooper will be without the suspended duo of Alex Pritchard and Troy Archibald-Henville, Ryan Mason is missing due to an abdominal strain, Michael Smith and Jamie Reckord are both cup-tied and Jay McEveley is still recovering from a knee problem.
Having taken all of that into account, Cooper must also contend with the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy ruling which dictates that he must select either at least six of the XI who started the game against Oldham Athletic on Saturday or six of the players who have played 75 per cent or more of Town’s league games this term.
Massimo Luongo, who was withdrawn at the weekend due to a tight hamstring, is expected to start, while Yaser Kasim is set to return after being rested for the visit of the Latics - but Cooper said he had yet to decide who to play in goal.
Tyrell Belford has featured in each of Swindon’s three JPT games to date this term but Wes Foderingham could be drafted in to satisfy the competition’s guidelines.
Cooper told the Advertiser: “It’s tricky, there are probably one or two who would have played who might not now because we have to have six of last Saturday’s starting XI or six players who have played 75 per cent of the league games this season. We have to do it one way or another.
“He (Kasim) is one booking away from a two-game suspension. He’s played nearly every minute - the same as Mass - so we decided to rest Yaser with (tonight) in mind.
“Yes people, and I understand, will say the league is important but in my opinion I picked a team that should have got a result on Saturday.”
Of Mason, Cooper said: “I thought it was just an impact injury but it’s an abdominal strain or a side strain and I’m not sure how long he’s going to be.”