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SWINDON TOWN: Cooper good for continuity - McCrory
SWINDON Town chairman Jed McCrory believes appointing Mark Cooper as permanent manager will ensure much needed continuity at the County Ground.
As predicted by the Advertiser, Cooper was unveiled to the local media at a press conference on Tuesday after meetings with McCrory and director of football operations Lee Power 24 hours earlier.
The former Peterborough boss has signed a two-year contract in Wiltshire and takes on the role with plenty of knowledge of the task he is taking on.
Cooper first arrived in Swindon in March as assistant manager to Kevin MacDonald following a difficult and short stint at Telford.
When MacDonald quit Town in July, the 44-year-old assumed temporary charge of first-team affairs and has spent a month in the hotseat prior to his appointment as gaffer yesterday.
McCrory is understood to have spoken on several occasions with Exeter boss Paul Tisdale about the prospect of him making the switch to Wiltshire, while discussions are also believed to have been held with Glenn Hoddle.
However, in the end the Robins chairman and his board plumped for the man who they believe will provide the most seamless transition between regimes.
“We said from the first day we came into the club that we wanted to get a bit of continuity when Kevin came in.
“We’ve brought programmes in to integrate the youth into the first team and Mark has been part of that,” he said.
“We feel he can continue to make that work and continue the football philosophy myself, Lee, Sangita (Shah) and Mark believe in. The work he’s done with the people in the club will tell you he’s been exceptional.
“He does a lot of work within the club that a lot of big club managers don’t do.”
McCrory was stung by a question at yesterday’s press conference in which it was suggested that Cooper was only appointed because he was “the cheapest option”.
“That’s out of order. He’s far from the cheapest person at a managerial level and he’s an exceptional manager,” he said.
In fact, Swindon’s chairman believes so strongly in Cooper’s ability that he has backed the ex-Kettering man to take Town into the Championship.
“It’s about what we believe in at the club, we think Mark ticks all the boxes for us.
“We want to keep playing football the way we’ve been playing, continuously playing the ball on the floor and I see him taking us forward.
“We’re all in agreement here, we think Mark will get us promoted,” he said.
“Mark’s got the backing from everyone within the club and around the club, not just from the board. If it happens that the style of football has to change then that’s a discussion we’ll have.”
Finally, McCrory praised Cooper for his willingness to buy into initiatives being started up by the club, including a contractual obligation for players to spend times in local schools coaching youngsters.
“We’ve spoken about what our intentions are about the current playing squad and how they’ll start embracing the community for four hours a week at local youth houses,” he said.