MARK Cooper has urged his Swindon Town midfielders to “step up to the plate” and emulate the creativity of Alex Pritchard and Ryan Mason.
The Tottenham duo were popular amongst Town fans last season for their flair in possession, with Pritchard in particular lighting up the County Ground with a series of dynamic displays during his season-long stay in Wiltshire.
The 21-year-old ended fifth in the League One assists table during 2013/14 with eight, also contributing eight goals to the team’s cause, but he has now joined Brentford for the new term following his return to White Hart Lane.
Mason, despite being dogged by injury, pitched in with five goals himself, and Cooper knows he now needs the likes of Massimo Luongo and Yaser Kasim to step up and fill the void left by the pair’s departure.
The said: “Everybody knows how we play - we try to get the ball and play and dominate the football - but we need a little bit more potency up front and we need to be able to give the strikers more chances, and that’s something we’re working on at the moment.
“You look at Alex Pritchard and Ryan Mason and they’re very creative players but they’re not here now and we can’t affect that. The boys that are, or the ones coming to join us, have to step up to the plate and try to take the mantle of creating opportunities for the strikers and themselves. I’m sure that, come August 9, we’ll be alright.”
Jordan Turnbull is close to joining Town on loan from Southampton, while the club remain interested in Jack Stephens, and Cooper once again stressed that he is aware new recruits are needed as soon as possible.
“We’re still, like I’ve been saying for a couple of weeks, three players short - four players short, maybe. It’s important that we try to get those players in before we start trying to finalise the team for the first game,” he said.
“We know where we’re going in terms of how we play, that won’t change, but the personnel hopefully will.
“We don’t want to be going into the season with three centre-backs. You can’t have too many good players.
“The more good players you’ve got the more chance you’ve got of getting good results on a regular basis. The more good players we have at the club the better.”