Williams reveals ‘huge pressure’ of manager’s job

Town assistant Luke Williams

Town assistant Luke Williams

First published in STFC News by

LUKE Williams has revealed the weight of pressure Swindon Town manager Mark Cooper puts on himself each week, saying the club are fortunate to have a man so “driven and ambitious” at the helm.

Williams arrived at the County Ground in the summer to work alongside Cooper as assistant coach and the former Brighton academy chief plays a major role in training and scouting with the Robins.

But he has also been there for Cooper to confide in during a turbulent term, during which Swindon have experienced as many dreary lows as extraordinary highs, and from the conversations he has had with the Town boss Williams has learnt plenty about the 45-year-old’s character.

“The manager wants to win. He’s a competitive person and when things aren’t going our way he’s very practical. He’ll make changes and set his mind to find out why we’re not winning games of football. I think he deals with the pressure very, very well. There’s a lot more pressure than people can see,” he said.

“My job is to make sure that I do whatever the manager wants me to do to the best of my ability.

“The manager has got all that pressure and he needs people he can rely on to do whatever it is that is the way forward.

“I think we work very well together. We challenge each other in our views, which is a must.

“It’s important that you don’t always agree on everything and I think we understand each other well enough.”

Williams talks about Cooper’s perfectionist side and his compulsion to blame himself when things go wrong for the team, saying: “When you’re driven and motivated you put pressure on yourself.

“The manager is always looking for the perfect performance.

“He wants us to win every game, never concede a goal and if things don’t go to plan it doesn’t sit well with him. He’s a winner.

“Then of course you have the external factors - if the fans are making themselves heard and they’re not happy he takes that to heart a little bit.

“You’ve got pressure from the people at the football club who are expecting us to win every week and there is a lot of pressure from different places but also the pressure he puts on himself. He’s driven and ambitious.”

That’s not a universal character trait among the game’s managers, according to Williams.

He said: “I’ve seen a few managers who don’t strike me as overly bothered either way. Some managers take it or leave it a little bit and if the team don’t play well it’s probably ‘the players aren’t good enough’ and they don’t stress about it.

“We’ve got a manager who, if the team doesn’t perform well enough, takes it personally and he wants to do something about it.

“That puts stress on yourself but I don’t think it’s a bad thing.

“If a manager’s not putting pressure on himself to produce it’s probably because he’s not 100 per cent committed. Our manager is. He’s very ambitious.”

Comments (7)

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8:57am Fri 11 Apr 14

mancrobin says...

I would say that Mark has acquitted himself extremely well this season. He has been asked some major questions at times that would test the best of managers, not least a rooky one and, in my view, has provided answers each time.

Without knowing what does go on behind the scenes, I imagine there has been a lot of politics this season and Mark appears to cope with it and rise above it well. I suspect Luke is a key factor in how Mark performs as it is rare that successful management comes down to one person.

I for one have been amazed at the calls for his head on these pages. I think we should count our lucky stars we have a management team that can take the squad forward on a limited budget.

He certainly gets my vote for next season.
I would say that Mark has acquitted himself extremely well this season. He has been asked some major questions at times that would test the best of managers, not least a rooky one and, in my view, has provided answers each time. Without knowing what does go on behind the scenes, I imagine there has been a lot of politics this season and Mark appears to cope with it and rise above it well. I suspect Luke is a key factor in how Mark performs as it is rare that successful management comes down to one person. I for one have been amazed at the calls for his head on these pages. I think we should count our lucky stars we have a management team that can take the squad forward on a limited budget. He certainly gets my vote for next season. mancrobin
  • Score: 30

12:24pm Fri 11 Apr 14

itslove says...

All managers need to be ambitious driven thats a must. its not a option. coops is those. but its not got results that we need. hes to friendly with the players . weve messed up a very good chance to get in the play offs. it was there for us. it will never be easy so next year can we do it. the same pressure will be there. we need to move to another level. get consistant and get points. we have thrown many points away this season. we have had a defence which cant defend. a midlfield which cant create and a attack which cant score. for me coops hasnt dealt well with any of that.
All managers need to be ambitious driven thats a must. its not a option. coops is those. but its not got results that we need. hes to friendly with the players . weve messed up a very good chance to get in the play offs. it was there for us. it will never be easy so next year can we do it. the same pressure will be there. we need to move to another level. get consistant and get points. we have thrown many points away this season. we have had a defence which cant defend. a midlfield which cant create and a attack which cant score. for me coops hasnt dealt well with any of that. itslove
  • Score: -8

12:55pm Fri 11 Apr 14

Swindon1984 says...

itslove wrote:
All managers need to be ambitious driven thats a must. its not a option. coops is those. but its not got results that we need. hes to friendly with the players . weve messed up a very good chance to get in the play offs. it was there for us. it will never be easy so next year can we do it. the same pressure will be there. we need to move to another level. get consistant and get points. we have thrown many points away this season. we have had a defence which cant defend. a midlfield which cant create and a attack which cant score. for me coops hasnt dealt well with any of that.
As far as I'm concerned you only need to judge him on one thing, has he achieved what he was tasked with doing for this season? I'm not exactly sure what his objective was, but I would guess stability, staying in league 1 and anything else as a bonus. If that's the case he's achieved and possibly exceeded.

Yes, we could say that we blew a chance of promotion but then again we had to build a team from scratch after a lot of turmoil, budgets were reduced, owners were changed, and through it all, we've ended up with a reasonable finish (I'm assuming we'll finish the season top half of the table).

Did I want more? Yes, of course I would've loved if we'd sneaked a few more points and got into the play offs, but if you look at how good the top five are in terms of points totals, and the gap they have over Peterborough, it was always going to be a hard scrap for that last place. Peterborough are just scraping into the final play off place and they've spent millions, we're only a few points off having spent a fraction of that.

We've definitely had bad spells but you can't take those in isolation, it's about the whole season. Sheffield United are probably on top of the world after a great run - they're still below us, and if their season was the other way round (i.e. started well and ended terribly) they'd probably be a bit aggrieved as well.

Put it this way, it's Coopers first season with us. Look at Karl Robinson with the franchise, had four years to build a successfull team and they're still in the same place as when he joined. Let's give Coops a fair rub of the green eh?
[quote][p][bold]itslove[/bold] wrote: All managers need to be ambitious driven thats a must. its not a option. coops is those. but its not got results that we need. hes to friendly with the players . weve messed up a very good chance to get in the play offs. it was there for us. it will never be easy so next year can we do it. the same pressure will be there. we need to move to another level. get consistant and get points. we have thrown many points away this season. we have had a defence which cant defend. a midlfield which cant create and a attack which cant score. for me coops hasnt dealt well with any of that.[/p][/quote]As far as I'm concerned you only need to judge him on one thing, has he achieved what he was tasked with doing for this season? I'm not exactly sure what his objective was, but I would guess stability, staying in league 1 and anything else as a bonus. If that's the case he's achieved and possibly exceeded. Yes, we could say that we blew a chance of promotion but then again we had to build a team from scratch after a lot of turmoil, budgets were reduced, owners were changed, and through it all, we've ended up with a reasonable finish (I'm assuming we'll finish the season top half of the table). Did I want more? Yes, of course I would've loved if we'd sneaked a few more points and got into the play offs, but if you look at how good the top five are in terms of points totals, and the gap they have over Peterborough, it was always going to be a hard scrap for that last place. Peterborough are just scraping into the final play off place and they've spent millions, we're only a few points off having spent a fraction of that. We've definitely had bad spells but you can't take those in isolation, it's about the whole season. Sheffield United are probably on top of the world after a great run - they're still below us, and if their season was the other way round (i.e. started well and ended terribly) they'd probably be a bit aggrieved as well. Put it this way, it's Coopers first season with us. Look at Karl Robinson with the franchise, had four years to build a successfull team and they're still in the same place as when he joined. Let's give Coops a fair rub of the green eh? Swindon1984
  • Score: 15

5:45pm Fri 11 Apr 14

dazzastfc says...

mancrobin wrote:
I would say that Mark has acquitted himself extremely well this season. He has been asked some major questions at times that would test the best of managers, not least a rooky one and, in my view, has provided answers each time.

Without knowing what does go on behind the scenes, I imagine there has been a lot of politics this season and Mark appears to cope with it and rise above it well. I suspect Luke is a key factor in how Mark performs as it is rare that successful management comes down to one person.

I for one have been amazed at the calls for his head on these pages. I think we should count our lucky stars we have a management team that can take the squad forward on a limited budget.

He certainly gets my vote for next season.
He dont get mine.
[quote][p][bold]mancrobin[/bold] wrote: I would say that Mark has acquitted himself extremely well this season. He has been asked some major questions at times that would test the best of managers, not least a rooky one and, in my view, has provided answers each time. Without knowing what does go on behind the scenes, I imagine there has been a lot of politics this season and Mark appears to cope with it and rise above it well. I suspect Luke is a key factor in how Mark performs as it is rare that successful management comes down to one person. I for one have been amazed at the calls for his head on these pages. I think we should count our lucky stars we have a management team that can take the squad forward on a limited budget. He certainly gets my vote for next season.[/p][/quote]He dont get mine. dazzastfc
  • Score: -8

6:16pm Fri 11 Apr 14

uruguay whitey the red says...

Swindon1984 wrote:
itslove wrote:
All managers need to be ambitious driven thats a must. its not a option. coops is those. but its not got results that we need. hes to friendly with the players . weve messed up a very good chance to get in the play offs. it was there for us. it will never be easy so next year can we do it. the same pressure will be there. we need to move to another level. get consistant and get points. we have thrown many points away this season. we have had a defence which cant defend. a midlfield which cant create and a attack which cant score. for me coops hasnt dealt well with any of that.
As far as I'm concerned you only need to judge him on one thing, has he achieved what he was tasked with doing for this season? I'm not exactly sure what his objective was, but I would guess stability, staying in league 1 and anything else as a bonus. If that's the case he's achieved and possibly exceeded.

Yes, we could say that we blew a chance of promotion but then again we had to build a team from scratch after a lot of turmoil, budgets were reduced, owners were changed, and through it all, we've ended up with a reasonable finish (I'm assuming we'll finish the season top half of the table).

Did I want more? Yes, of course I would've loved if we'd sneaked a few more points and got into the play offs, but if you look at how good the top five are in terms of points totals, and the gap they have over Peterborough, it was always going to be a hard scrap for that last place. Peterborough are just scraping into the final play off place and they've spent millions, we're only a few points off having spent a fraction of that.

We've definitely had bad spells but you can't take those in isolation, it's about the whole season. Sheffield United are probably on top of the world after a great run - they're still below us, and if their season was the other way round (i.e. started well and ended terribly) they'd probably be a bit aggrieved as well.

Put it this way, it's Coopers first season with us. Look at Karl Robinson with the franchise, had four years to build a successfull team and they're still in the same place as when he joined. Let's give Coops a fair rub of the green eh?
The massive difference between karl robinson and other managers to mark cooper is they assemble their own backroom staff and playing squad,This guy has taken on the job knowing full well he has to toe lee powers line.This is why we ultimately fizzled out at the seasons end because when ajose went back and ranger got injured ,cooper never replaced these guys.Fans being `happy`with stability in this division should realise we are a big club in division 3,decent average attendances aswell.The crazy situation of last season when Andrew black walked away(clearing millions of ££££s of debt)and jedward and his potless cronies taking over ultimately put the kybosh on that promotion attempt.We should be hoping,wishing,expec
ting to be in or around the play-offs as we still pay a good amount on wages.If we settle for loanees every year then it leaves us starting afresh every season which is impracticable for a solid successful team.
[quote][p][bold]Swindon1984[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]itslove[/bold] wrote: All managers need to be ambitious driven thats a must. its not a option. coops is those. but its not got results that we need. hes to friendly with the players . weve messed up a very good chance to get in the play offs. it was there for us. it will never be easy so next year can we do it. the same pressure will be there. we need to move to another level. get consistant and get points. we have thrown many points away this season. we have had a defence which cant defend. a midlfield which cant create and a attack which cant score. for me coops hasnt dealt well with any of that.[/p][/quote]As far as I'm concerned you only need to judge him on one thing, has he achieved what he was tasked with doing for this season? I'm not exactly sure what his objective was, but I would guess stability, staying in league 1 and anything else as a bonus. If that's the case he's achieved and possibly exceeded. Yes, we could say that we blew a chance of promotion but then again we had to build a team from scratch after a lot of turmoil, budgets were reduced, owners were changed, and through it all, we've ended up with a reasonable finish (I'm assuming we'll finish the season top half of the table). Did I want more? Yes, of course I would've loved if we'd sneaked a few more points and got into the play offs, but if you look at how good the top five are in terms of points totals, and the gap they have over Peterborough, it was always going to be a hard scrap for that last place. Peterborough are just scraping into the final play off place and they've spent millions, we're only a few points off having spent a fraction of that. We've definitely had bad spells but you can't take those in isolation, it's about the whole season. Sheffield United are probably on top of the world after a great run - they're still below us, and if their season was the other way round (i.e. started well and ended terribly) they'd probably be a bit aggrieved as well. Put it this way, it's Coopers first season with us. Look at Karl Robinson with the franchise, had four years to build a successfull team and they're still in the same place as when he joined. Let's give Coops a fair rub of the green eh?[/p][/quote]The massive difference between karl robinson and other managers to mark cooper is they assemble their own backroom staff and playing squad,This guy has taken on the job knowing full well he has to toe lee powers line.This is why we ultimately fizzled out at the seasons end because when ajose went back and ranger got injured ,cooper never replaced these guys.Fans being `happy`with stability in this division should realise we are a big club in division 3,decent average attendances aswell.The crazy situation of last season when Andrew black walked away(clearing millions of ££££s of debt)and jedward and his potless cronies taking over ultimately put the kybosh on that promotion attempt.We should be hoping,wishing,expec ting to be in or around the play-offs as we still pay a good amount on wages.If we settle for loanees every year then it leaves us starting afresh every season which is impracticable for a solid successful team. uruguay whitey the red
  • Score: -3

2:23pm Sat 12 Apr 14

the wizard says...

I think this season and what went before it at the end of last season coupled with KMacca throwing in the towel has been an extremely tasking time for anybody let alone anybody who was in Coopers position. Dangled by the toes and thrown in at the deep end. You have to respect the man for hanging in there and at least giving his all.

Williams though should not be overlooked as he has without doubt had a massive input and should also be recognized for his work which often goes unnoticed.
I think this season and what went before it at the end of last season coupled with KMacca throwing in the towel has been an extremely tasking time for anybody let alone anybody who was in Coopers position. Dangled by the toes and thrown in at the deep end. You have to respect the man for hanging in there and at least giving his all. Williams though should not be overlooked as he has without doubt had a massive input and should also be recognized for his work which often goes unnoticed. the wizard
  • Score: 0

2:14am Sun 13 Apr 14

harley red says...

Cooper can't make the correct decision with subs and tactics is that due to pressure ???
Cooper can't make the correct decision with subs and tactics is that due to pressure ??? harley red
  • Score: 0

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