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Cooper urges Town players to follow Bradford's example
SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper has told his players to use Bradford’s example as inspiration as they look to spring an upset at QPR this evening.
The Bantams won all the way through to the Capital One Cup final last season, seeing off Arsenal, Aston Villa and Wigan in the process, and as Cooper takes his Town team to the Championship high-flyers he has used the story of their success in preparing his side for the clash at Loftus Road.
When asked if he felt a run in the competition was possible, he said: “You look at Bradford last year and why not. They knocked out some big teams along the way. It earns plenty of money if you can go a certain distance in the cup, so I’m sure the chairman and Lee (Power) will want us to go as far as we can.
“It’s on the night. MK Dons have knocked them out and a number of others, but I don’t look too much into that. If we play as well as we possibly can then we have a chance.
“It gives you a chance to pit your wits against players or managers that you only usually see on the telly.
“It’s great for our lads to go and play against some big names - Joey Barton for example - and they can use that to see where they are in their careers.”
Cooper has stressed that all the pressure is on the home side going into the contest and he is hopeful that with a licence to express themselves, his players will respond positively.
“It’s a great game for the players and the fans,” he said. “We’re playing a team top of the Championship, with a squad full of Premiership players and it will be a tough test for us.
“But there’s no pressure on us, no one really expects us to win so we can go and give it our best shot and play our football without too much pressure on us.
“They’ve got loads but we’ll get organised and we’ll put a team out that we think can go there and compete.”
While Cooper expects to see plenty of passing football from Rangers tonight, he is aware that they possess the sort of physical presence in the penalty area which proved Swindon’s undoing in the 2-2 draw with Gillingham on Saturday.
“QPR have still got the aerial threat, they’ve got big, physical players. At times they’re going to stick the ball in the box and you’ve got to defend it,” he said.
“It gives us a yardstick as to where we’ve got to get to. I watched their game before our game and they kept the ball really well.
“Hopefully it will be a good game between two teams who want to get it down and pass properly and create chances that way. It should be a cracking game.
“I’m hoping that when we get the ball we can have a spell of possession as well.”
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