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Cooper relishing an Easter feast against the Sky Blues
MARK Cooper is looking forward to an Easter weekend of high drama, as his Swindon Town side face two tricky outings in League One.
The Robins travel to Northampton to play Coventry City this afternoon before hosting Bradford City at the County Ground on Monday and, while all three teams are playing for little more than pride at present, Cooper is hopeful the two games will still capture fans’ imaginations.
He said: “It’s usually about ups and downs and people needing points for various reasons; drama, people trying to get in the play-offs, people trying to get promotion, people trying to avoid relegation. It’s usually a dramatic time of the season.
“We’re looking forward to going to Northampton to play Coventry and hopefully get three points.”
Town are set to take in excess of 1,000 supporters to Sixfields today and red shirts could make up a third of the total crowd, with Coventry struggling to attract fans to their temporary home.
“In general, away fans are always more vocal and get behind their team,” said Cooper. “Whichever team you’re at, the away fans seem to be the ones to get behind their team more.
“It should be great for the players, they should want to put on a great show for a great traveling support and hopefully they can cheer us on to a really good victory.”
The Swindon boss is expecting a stern test of his players by the Sky Blues, who he rates as the “best footballing team” Town have encountered this season.
“I’ve said all throughout the season that, in my opinion, they were the best footballing team we’ve played,” he said. “They play a similar kind of style to ourselves and I know they won’t get away from those principles because that’s what their manager believes in.
“I know they’ve stuck to that through bad times or not as good times, similar to ourselves. We still try to play football no matter what and it should or could be a cracking game and one we’re looking forward to.
“I think it’s refreshing that you’ve got two teams like that, who are giving homegrown, young, English players a chance to show that they can compete and go and play at the highest level.”
Town seem to be giving Cooper the end to the season he craved, going into the weekend double-header off the back of a run of one defeat and four wins in six matches. He puts that good form down to a variety of reasons.
“I think there are contributing factors, there are a number of things,” he said. “Touch wood, we’ve looked secure at the back, which gives you more freedom to go and play and not worry too much about what’s going on behind you.
“We’ve played against some really good teams who are expected to beat us, so you become the underdog. You play with probably a little less pressure.
“There are different things that come into the equation but, Carlisle apart, where I thought we played some of the better football in recent weeks, the players have done fantastically well and hopefully we can continue a strong end to the season, and you never know.”
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