SWINDON TOWN: Cooper claims JPT record is irrelevant ahead of Plymouth clash (From Swindon Advertiser)
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SWINDON TOWN: Cooper claims JPT record is irrelevant ahead of Plymouth clash
MARK Cooper is taking no notice of Swindon Town’s good recent record in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy ahead of this evening’s second round tie against Plymouth Argyle at the County Ground.
The Robins have reached the area quarter-finals in all bar one of the last five seasons, and made it all the way to Wembley in 2012 before being beaten 2-0 by Chesterfield in the final.
However, manager Cooper is more concerned with what is to come rather than what has past and he is expecting a tough test from a Plymouth side “smarting” from defeat to local rivals Exeter in League Two on Saturday.
He said: “It’s just another game. It means nothing to me, how far they’ve been before. All I know is we’ve got a tough game. Plymouth will be smarting after losing the Devon derby, they’ll want to bounce back for their fans, it’s probably another local trip for Plymouth and they’ll want to prove a point.
“There’s always pressure to win games of football - from ourselves, from supporters, from the people are the club. We want to win as many games as we can, we want to get as far as we can in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy because make no mistake about it, it’s a fantastic day out if you win.
“It brings revenue in and we’ll be going all out to get as far as we can.”
Cooper is anticipating a very different set of tactics from Plymouth boss John Sheridan compared to the stifling strategy used by Tranmere manager Ronnie Moore at the weekend.
He said: “I read quotes from the Tranmere manager saying how was he expected to come to Swindon and play 4-4-2 because you get annihilated. That says a lot about what other teams are saying about our players, which is testimony to what they’ve done.
“I know John Sheridan is a very attack-minded manager so he may well want to come and have a go at us. Whatever they do we have to find a way to counter that.
“We played Torquay in the first round of the Capital One Cup and it will be similar. They will come and make it difficult for us to out and play. They’re going to play and try to stop us doing what we’re going to do.
“Whoever you play you have to give them respect. We will try to keep the ball off Plymouth and try not to give them chances. That won’t change whoever we play, sometimes it has to be within reason.
“If teams come and sit behind the ball we have to be switched on defensively, we can’t give them any encouragement, we don’t give teams a goal, we make it a comfortable afternoon and we have to see it through.
“If teams come and they don’t want to play we have to make sure we win. I think Plymouth will come and want to play and they’ll want to ask questions of us.”
With 11 first-team players struggling with injuries and Nathan Thompson serving a one-match ban, Cooper is further restricted in his team selection by the JPT rules which state he can only make five changes to the side which started against Tranmere on Saturday.
“There are restrictions on how many players you can change for the Johnstone’s Paint, so we’re restricted in how many of the starting XI from Saturday we can rest,” he said.
“You can’t say we’re going to play a team that hasn’t been playing. We have to think about who’s at risk from injury but we have to play a majority of those who played on Saturday.
“Ones that we think that maybe are in danger of breaking down because they’ve haven’t done as much training, one that maybe have played in nearly every game and we feel maybe need a rest so they can be fresh for Saturday.”
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