MARK Cooper has urged the fringe members of his Swindon Town squad to step up and prove they deserve a place in the side after the Robins were hit by another spate of injury problems.

Alex Pritchard and Louis Thompson have been ruled out of the weekend trip to Leyton Orient due to a medial ligament strain and bone bruising respectively, while Dany N’Guessan faces a late fitness test on a groin concern.

The trio are joined in the treatment room by Grant Hall, Nile Ranger and Ryan Mason, while Nathan Thompson and Jay McEveley are both suspended for the visit to Brisbane Road.

Their absences look set to give the likes of Ryan Harley, George Barker and Ben Gladwin the chance to shine against League One’s second-placed side, and Cooper is desperate for those players to take their big chance this weekend.

“We’ve got a lot of players but at the moment we’re struggling for numbers that are available to play. We have a squad, we have to get on with it, I’ve said all season that I won’t use it as an excuse,” he said.

“It gives an opportunity now for some people who perhaps think they should be in the team or the squad, and probably tell everyone they should be in the team and the squad, the chance to not tell us but show us that they should be.

“They’ll tell anyone that wants to listen and that’s normal in a football club.

“If you’re not in the team, players want and think they should be. Some players at the weekend will get an opportunity to show they should be and I hope they take it.”