Cooper hails Swans’ progress as he looks to build at Swindon

Swindon Advertiser: Town boss Mark Cooper Town boss Mark Cooper

SWINDON Town should be inspired by Swansea City’s success on and off the pitch as they look to launch a bright new future in Wiltshire, according to manager Mark Cooper.

After six months of substantial change at the County Ground, the dissenting voices amongst the Robins’ fanbase can still be heard despite the fact new-look Town sit eighth in League One, narrowly missed out on a place at Wembley in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy and fought their way to a third-round League Cup tie with Chelsea.

Cooper never seems surprised by the small swells of angst amongst Swindon supporters. Like most, he understands that the kind of radical change witnessed in SN1 this past year is not easy to accept. Town have completely switched their mentality - from big-budget spenders to savvy scrimpers - as well as their chosen style of play.

Gone are the flash-bang counter-attacks, low-lying defensive lines and three-pass-cross-goal tactics used so potently by Paolo Di Canio’s teams in 2011/12 and 2012/13. Patience is the buzz-word now - patience in the way Cooper’s side plays, patience in the stands on a matchday, patience long-term as owner Lee Power builds a squad capable of challenging for promotion to the Championship on a tight budget.

It’s a similar model to the way Swansea started out. Ten years ago the Swans secured their Football League survival on the season’s final day and then rebuilt and rebuilt and rebuilt until they found the formula that took them into the Premier League.

There are distinct similarities between the two teams. Swansea’s 239,000-strong population compares to 209,000 in Swindon and the surrounding area; the two clubs’ grounds are both owned by the local authority; each had previously experienced life in the top flight - and Cooper thinks Town should look up to the example set by the South Wales side as they build a new future for themselves - even if that future does not necessarily ever reach such lofty heights.

“You look at Swansea and where they were 10 years ago, and we’re trying to do something similar here because that’s the only way the club can survive,” he said.

“Swansea 10 years ago were playing a match to stay in the Football League and you look at them now. They’re going to Liverpool and at times outplaying Liverpool, who are being touted as one of the best football teams in the country.

“It’s not going to happen overnight, it’s going to take us time. We’re trying to put something in place that we think will serve the club well for a long, long time to come rather than buying overnight success.”

Town’s annual footballing budget has fallen to around £2.3million from £4.5million at this time last season, and it’s projected to be cut further this summer. As a result, Cooper and Power will have to search out diamonds in the rough - intelligent, ambitious, young footballers who have untapped potential.

“You look at Swansea, maybe Brighton to a certain extent, and they’ve decided to go along the route of trying to play a brand of football, attracting young players to fit into that brand of football, because gone are the days we can attract 10 or 15 29, 30, 31-year-olds that are proven and earning big money,” he said.

“We have to try and coach and work with young players and try to make them into really good players so we can maybe sell them.

“I think when Swansea started they wouldn’t have been getting seven or eight thousand. The journey started in League Two, then League One, the Championship and now the Premier League.”

A major part of Swansea’s rags to riches fairytale was their relocation to the Liberty Stadium from the dilapidated Vetch Field. A decade ago, the Swans’ average gate was a little under 6,000, whereas they now regularly sell-out their 20,500-capacity arena.

Cooper accepted that modern facilities attract a wider audience.

“Is Swansea historically as big a club as Swindon? I’m not sure it is gates-wise over the years when they were at the Vetch Field. I think the new stadium factor kicks in,” he said.

“When you get a new stadium you automatically get three or four thousand people extra and it’s up to you to keep them.

“I’m not saying we want to emulate them. All I’m saying is to look where Swansea were 10 years ago. You have to start somewhere and we started this year by the way we’ve played and the players we’ve had to bring to the football club because of what had gone on before.

“We’re on a journey now where we’ve got a style of play we believe in and we’re going to stick to it and then it’s up to us to bring the right kind of players through and add to that group of players to take us forward.”

Comments (17)

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6:10am Tue 25 Feb 14

6degreessouth says...

Cooper is boring the crap out of me now. FFS p1ss off now, please.
Cooper is boring the crap out of me now. FFS p1ss off now, please. 6degreessouth

7:13am Tue 25 Feb 14

Swindon1984 says...

6degreessouth wrote:
Cooper is boring the crap out of me now. FFS p1ss off now, please.
Great contribution - not saying you have to agree with him but you could at least explain why if you can be bothered.

Not sure too many believe the pep talk being offered here, I'm hugely sceptical as I doubt we're ever getting a new stadium, Power's as good as said money won't be spent redeveloping the county ground, and relying on cheap young signings and loan players isn't likely to yield success in the short to medium term. He's oversimplified Swansea's example quite dramatically.

I can see the point about building for the future and doing it on a budget, but even if it works in principal as a way of running the club, a lot of it's down to luck. Could quite easily say we're looking to emulate Crewe, earn enough through selling players on to survive, but never challenge for promotion.
[quote][p][bold]6degreessouth[/bold] wrote: Cooper is boring the crap out of me now. FFS p1ss off now, please.[/p][/quote]Great contribution - not saying you have to agree with him but you could at least explain why if you can be bothered. Not sure too many believe the pep talk being offered here, I'm hugely sceptical as I doubt we're ever getting a new stadium, Power's as good as said money won't be spent redeveloping the county ground, and relying on cheap young signings and loan players isn't likely to yield success in the short to medium term. He's oversimplified Swansea's example quite dramatically. I can see the point about building for the future and doing it on a budget, but even if it works in principal as a way of running the club, a lot of it's down to luck. Could quite easily say we're looking to emulate Crewe, earn enough through selling players on to survive, but never challenge for promotion. Swindon1984

7:33am Tue 25 Feb 14

smirg kcab says...

Agree we should follow them, shame is they sacked their manager 4 games ago.
Hold on tight and get down that tunnel at 21.45 as fast as you can
Agree we should follow them, shame is they sacked their manager 4 games ago. Hold on tight and get down that tunnel at 21.45 as fast as you can smirg kcab

7:35am Tue 25 Feb 14

avo says...

Swindon1984 wrote:
6degreessouth wrote: Cooper is boring the crap out of me now. FFS p1ss off now, please.
Great contribution - not saying you have to agree with him but you could at least explain why if you can be bothered. Not sure too many believe the pep talk being offered here, I'm hugely sceptical as I doubt we're ever getting a new stadium, Power's as good as said money won't be spent redeveloping the county ground, and relying on cheap young signings and loan players isn't likely to yield success in the short to medium term. He's oversimplified Swansea's example quite dramatically. I can see the point about building for the future and doing it on a budget, but even if it works in principal as a way of running the club, a lot of it's down to luck. Could quite easily say we're looking to emulate Crewe, earn enough through selling players on to survive, but never challenge for promotion.
Point taken, but then again, should your latter example end up being the case, it'll only add to the fact that for 90% of our history, that's exactly what we have been, a club operating in the lower levels of English football, tasting the odd success along the way, again, much like the Crewe example you allude to, having to bring on players and sell them to survive.
.
In that resepct, we'll be no better or no worse off, according to our own history.
[quote][p][bold]Swindon1984[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]6degreessouth[/bold] wrote: Cooper is boring the crap out of me now. FFS p1ss off now, please.[/p][/quote]Great contribution - not saying you have to agree with him but you could at least explain why if you can be bothered. Not sure too many believe the pep talk being offered here, I'm hugely sceptical as I doubt we're ever getting a new stadium, Power's as good as said money won't be spent redeveloping the county ground, and relying on cheap young signings and loan players isn't likely to yield success in the short to medium term. He's oversimplified Swansea's example quite dramatically. I can see the point about building for the future and doing it on a budget, but even if it works in principal as a way of running the club, a lot of it's down to luck. Could quite easily say we're looking to emulate Crewe, earn enough through selling players on to survive, but never challenge for promotion.[/p][/quote]Point taken, but then again, should your latter example end up being the case, it'll only add to the fact that for 90% of our history, that's exactly what we have been, a club operating in the lower levels of English football, tasting the odd success along the way, again, much like the Crewe example you allude to, having to bring on players and sell them to survive. . In that resepct, we'll be no better or no worse off, according to our own history. avo

7:36am Tue 25 Feb 14

Red Tuareg says...

Interesting comment about a new stadium automatically an extra 3-4,000 fans. Call me a sceptic but I can't see that happening at the Town ????
Interesting comment about a new stadium automatically an extra 3-4,000 fans. Call me a sceptic but I can't see that happening at the Town ???? Red Tuareg

7:43am Tue 25 Feb 14

who am i says...

all well and good but you need decent coaching staff which includes the manager to bring the so called hungry players on. do we have then? not for me we dont. we will go the same way as when recruiting players, what we can afford, and as the old saying goes you pay peanuts you get monkeys.
all well and good but you need decent coaching staff which includes the manager to bring the so called hungry players on. do we have then? not for me we dont. we will go the same way as when recruiting players, what we can afford, and as the old saying goes you pay peanuts you get monkeys. who am i

8:00am Tue 25 Feb 14

Robinonfire says...

Is Cooperman Andy King the 2nd........talks crap.
Is Cooperman Andy King the 2nd........talks crap. Robinonfire

9:14am Tue 25 Feb 14

Davidsyrett says...

Red Tuareg wrote:
Interesting comment about a new stadium automatically an extra 3-4,000 fans. Call me a sceptic but I can't see that happening at the Town ????
i'm sure it would, I have advocated for a long time that the only way for this club to progress is a new stadium, any other idea, including redevelopment of the CG wont work. If LP is to take us to the next level then he has to look for a site to build a new ground. We will never progress at the county Ground unfortunately.
[quote][p][bold]Red Tuareg[/bold] wrote: Interesting comment about a new stadium automatically an extra 3-4,000 fans. Call me a sceptic but I can't see that happening at the Town ????[/p][/quote]i'm sure it would, I have advocated for a long time that the only way for this club to progress is a new stadium, any other idea, including redevelopment of the CG wont work. If LP is to take us to the next level then he has to look for a site to build a new ground. We will never progress at the county Ground unfortunately. Davidsyrett

9:35am Tue 25 Feb 14

Billy hunt 65 says...

We will be the next Rushden and Diamonds mark my words.
We will be the next Rushden and Diamonds mark my words. Billy hunt 65

10:43am Tue 25 Feb 14

port de soller says...

same old crap. what will he say this evening when the creepies win,hope they don´t yet just makes you think where the nexr win will come from.Cooper seems to talk the talk/LP I don´t know he must realise Cooper aint right for the Town.QUESTION IS CAN stfc AFFORD A DECENT MANAGER??????
same old crap. what will he say this evening when the creepies win,hope they don´t yet just makes you think where the nexr win will come from.Cooper seems to talk the talk/LP I don´t know he must realise Cooper aint right for the Town.QUESTION IS CAN stfc AFFORD A DECENT MANAGER?????? port de soller

11:15am Tue 25 Feb 14

hertz says...

Not sure the Swans always played similar football to us /or us to them what I am sure is that 6 weeks ago Swans were getting slated on MOTD for the borng tip tp footie in their own half , in fact the one and only goal they scored in that game came from route 1 pass , a week after that they sacked their manager , a good manager but he had simply lost hi way and it took bottle to do it , then they dish up football that we saw against Liverpool on Sunday , ok so they did'nt win , they also did'nt win the tip tap game which they lost 3-1 I think , but I know what I would prefer to pay for . Smell the coffee .
Not sure the Swans always played similar football to us /or us to them what I am sure is that 6 weeks ago Swans were getting slated on MOTD for the borng tip tp footie in their own half , in fact the one and only goal they scored in that game came from route 1 pass , a week after that they sacked their manager , a good manager but he had simply lost hi way and it took bottle to do it , then they dish up football that we saw against Liverpool on Sunday , ok so they did'nt win , they also did'nt win the tip tap game which they lost 3-1 I think , but I know what I would prefer to pay for . Smell the coffee . hertz

12:14pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Oi Den! says...

Sam, 8th position is not too bad at all. But have our expectations really fallen so low that we think it's an achievement to reach the third round of the League Cup and to beat Plymouth and Wycombe in the Paint Pot? We got pasted by a poor team in the FA Cup and showed no fight whatsoever against Chelsea in the other worthwhile cup completion.

Credit where it's due. Cooper has done very well to get us to 8th place. However, with the anniversary of our finest hour approaching, it's a bit galling to read the suggestion that we've been successful outside League competition.
Sam, 8th position is not too bad at all. But have our expectations really fallen so low that we think it's an achievement to reach the third round of the League Cup and to beat Plymouth and Wycombe in the Paint Pot? We got pasted by a poor team in the FA Cup and showed no fight whatsoever against Chelsea in the other worthwhile cup completion. Credit where it's due. Cooper has done very well to get us to 8th place. However, with the anniversary of our finest hour approaching, it's a bit galling to read the suggestion that we've been successful outside League competition. Oi Den!

1:14pm Tue 25 Feb 14

lifelong red says...

Sounds reasonable enough to me , and to be honest, is there realistically any other way we can go - don't see any multi- million investment on the horizon- not sure I would want that anyway - we've all seen what can happen if they decide to pull the plug. We have over the years on occasions managed to reach the higher pinnacles only to finish up where we started and obtained a great deal of debt in doing so. Yes it may well be a long and arduous road ahead who knows? but as a ardent town fan i'm willing to take my chances- sit tight - keep supporting the team and see where we are in maybe 1or2 years time.
Sounds reasonable enough to me , and to be honest, is there realistically any other way we can go - don't see any multi- million investment on the horizon- not sure I would want that anyway - we've all seen what can happen if they decide to pull the plug. We have over the years on occasions managed to reach the higher pinnacles only to finish up where we started and obtained a great deal of debt in doing so. Yes it may well be a long and arduous road ahead who knows? but as a ardent town fan i'm willing to take my chances- sit tight - keep supporting the team and see where we are in maybe 1or2 years time. lifelong red

3:28pm Tue 25 Feb 14

harley red says...

Ffs cooper shut up and go to oxford as there sh?. Just like you !!!!!!
Ffs cooper shut up and go to oxford as there sh?. Just like you !!!!!! harley red

6:13pm Tue 25 Feb 14

dazzastfc says...

The big difference with Swansea is there chairman is a very rich SWANSEA FAN....
That man has put everything in2 that club and he all ways will....

Stop talking about others clubs and sort this one out, are playing standards have dropped big time over the past 15 games
The big difference with Swansea is there chairman is a very rich SWANSEA FAN.... That man has put everything in2 that club and he all ways will.... Stop talking about others clubs and sort this one out, are playing standards have dropped big time over the past 15 games dazzastfc

7:01pm Tue 25 Feb 14

MARK TITCOMBE says...

dazzastfc wrote:
The big difference with Swansea is there chairman is a very rich SWANSEA FAN....
That man has put everything in2 that club and he all ways will....

Stop talking about others clubs and sort this one out, are playing standards have dropped big time over the past 15 games
Yeah you're right dazz. Why do we have to read **** like this? I want to hear how he is going to improve the performances? He is the first to admit to the poor bits but never tells us how he plans to improve these elements.
They are good one minute and **** the next. Bad management is the only explaination surely!!
[quote][p][bold]dazzastfc[/bold] wrote: The big difference with Swansea is there chairman is a very rich SWANSEA FAN.... That man has put everything in2 that club and he all ways will.... Stop talking about others clubs and sort this one out, are playing standards have dropped big time over the past 15 games[/p][/quote]Yeah you're right dazz. Why do we have to read **** like this? I want to hear how he is going to improve the performances? He is the first to admit to the poor bits but never tells us how he plans to improve these elements. They are good one minute and **** the next. Bad management is the only explaination surely!! MARK TITCOMBE

9:32pm Tue 25 Feb 14

Swindon1984 says...

avo wrote:
Swindon1984 wrote:
6degreessouth wrote: Cooper is boring the crap out of me now. FFS p1ss off now, please.
Great contribution - not saying you have to agree with him but you could at least explain why if you can be bothered. Not sure too many believe the pep talk being offered here, I'm hugely sceptical as I doubt we're ever getting a new stadium, Power's as good as said money won't be spent redeveloping the county ground, and relying on cheap young signings and loan players isn't likely to yield success in the short to medium term. He's oversimplified Swansea's example quite dramatically. I can see the point about building for the future and doing it on a budget, but even if it works in principal as a way of running the club, a lot of it's down to luck. Could quite easily say we're looking to emulate Crewe, earn enough through selling players on to survive, but never challenge for promotion.
Point taken, but then again, should your latter example end up being the case, it'll only add to the fact that for 90% of our history, that's exactly what we have been, a club operating in the lower levels of English football, tasting the odd success along the way, again, much like the Crewe example you allude to, having to bring on players and sell them to survive.
.
In that resepct, we'll be no better or no worse off, according to our own history.
Yep, you're quite right and I don't disagree we're no worse off, just an observation. We can dare to dream but we' are what we are.
[quote][p][bold]avo[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Swindon1984[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]6degreessouth[/bold] wrote: Cooper is boring the crap out of me now. FFS p1ss off now, please.[/p][/quote]Great contribution - not saying you have to agree with him but you could at least explain why if you can be bothered. Not sure too many believe the pep talk being offered here, I'm hugely sceptical as I doubt we're ever getting a new stadium, Power's as good as said money won't be spent redeveloping the county ground, and relying on cheap young signings and loan players isn't likely to yield success in the short to medium term. He's oversimplified Swansea's example quite dramatically. I can see the point about building for the future and doing it on a budget, but even if it works in principal as a way of running the club, a lot of it's down to luck. Could quite easily say we're looking to emulate Crewe, earn enough through selling players on to survive, but never challenge for promotion.[/p][/quote]Point taken, but then again, should your latter example end up being the case, it'll only add to the fact that for 90% of our history, that's exactly what we have been, a club operating in the lower levels of English football, tasting the odd success along the way, again, much like the Crewe example you allude to, having to bring on players and sell them to survive. . In that resepct, we'll be no better or no worse off, according to our own history.[/p][/quote]Yep, you're quite right and I don't disagree we're no worse off, just an observation. We can dare to dream but we' are what we are. Swindon1984

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