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Cooper keeps points target private
MARK Cooper is keeping his points target for the remaining 13 games of his side’s season private, with the Swindon Town manager more interested in seeing the Robins finish 2013/14 with a flourish.
Town currently lie eighth in the League One table with 46 points, six points behind Peterborough United in the final play-off position with just over quarter of the season remaining, and Cooper has a figure in his head of the points haul he believes would propel Swindon into the top six.
However, the 45-year-old isn’t about to divulge that information. Instead, he’d rather see his players up their performance levels.
Even when the Advertiser suggested another eight victories might be enough to secure Town sixth spot, Cooper stayed coy.
He said: “I think it possibly could get you the last place. Of course we’d love to get there but all we’re trying to do is finish the season as strongly as we can and see where it takes us.
“We don’t really talk about (the play-offs), we just talk about the next game. If you start looking too far ahead then you get lost and you can’t see the wood for the trees so we’re just concentrating on the next game.”
Given that the average points total to sneak into sixth place since 2002 is 75 points, even eight victories is unlikely to be enough to lift Swindon into the play-off places.
Presuming they lost the other five games of their run-in, Town would finish the campaign with 70 points - fewer than any of the past 11 sixth-placed sides and they would be 12 points worse off than the 2009/10 sixth-placers Huddersfield.
It remains a long shot and one key element of a successful last two months of the term will be players’ fitness.
“The sports science becomes important - deciding which players are most at risk of long-term injuries, which need a rest, training and things like that,” said Cooper.
“You just try to manage it and try to make sure you don’t do too much training. You make sure you do enough.
“You think with the number of players we’ve got out we don’t want more, so we’re always erring on the side of caution.”
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