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SWINDON TOWN: It's just like playing Chelsea...
SWINDON Town will prepare for the visit of Walsall in the same way they prepared for the arrival of Chelsea last month, with manager Mark Cooper stressing his side won’t underestimate the Midlanders.
Walsall may come to Wiltshire off the back of a run of just one win in five League One outings, but the Saddlers are unbeaten in five away from home and have only lost once on their travels in the league all season.
That form has seen Dean Smith’s side to ninth in the division, just a point behind Town going into this evening’s clash at the County Ground.
Therefore, Cooper has told his players not to take their opponents lightly as they go in search of their fifth straight victory in all competitions.
“People do say ‘it’s only Walsall’ but we would never say that because we respect every team we play against and we’ve prepared in the same way we would if we were playing Chelsea,” said the Swindon boss, who watched Walsall beat Stevenage 2-1 on Saturday.
“Full respect to Walsall, I was very impressed with what I saw on Saturday.
“They were very good. They’re a very good football team and they try to play. They’ve got some exciting young players, a lot of pace in the team and tomorrow will be a tough game but I think it will be a good football game because they’ll want to come and play football.
“The coaching staff there have done remarkably well with the season they had last year and the start they’ve had this season. I would suggest they haven’t got lots of money to play with but they’ve done really well.
“They try to play. They look as though they enjoy passing the football, they look well organised and it will be another tough test for us.”
Nathan Thompson is fit after being replaced at half-time against Notts County on Friday night due to illness, while Ryan Mason could start for the Robins. Ryan Harley, Troy Archibald-Henville, Tijane Reis and Alex Smith remain sidelined, however, while Miles Storey - currently on loan at Salisbury - has picked up a knock.
“Nathan has trained and should be fine, Ryan Mason came through fine so he’ll be available,” said Cooper. “Ryan Harley has not trained yet, he’s still under the physio and getting his strength back in his leg.
“Troy’s knee is still playing up so he’s been doing his own bits and pieces until he feels he’s ready to train.
“Miles has had some fluid drained from his thigh so he has to rest for a week to let that settle down and then we’ll reassess it.”
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