Cooper braced for higher expectations
5:30am Monday 11th August 2014 in Sport
MARK Cooper agreed that expectations around Swindon Town could be heightened after his side romped to an opening-day victory over Scunthorpe United on Saturday.
Two goals from Michael Smith and one from Massimo Luongo paved the way to all three points for the Robins, who dominated their guests for large periods of an entertaining encounter at the County Ground.
Pre-season predictions of midtable mediocrity or worse were revised in many corners of the Swindon fanbase following the result and, when asked whether his team’s display could lead to exaggerated dreams of what might happen over the course of the campaign, Cooper told the Advertiser: “Possibly. I thought second half we were outstanding.
“Some of the football was expansive, we kept getting the wing-backs in, we should have scored five or six in my opinion and it could have been more generous than the scoreline was.
“If we can sort the problem out that we know we’ve got, with the naivety at the back, then who knows.
“I think word gets around about the way you play. People know that when they come here they’re going to have to work hard to stop us dominating the football. That’s what we’re all about. Today I thought we dominated the football brilliantly.”
Wes Foderingham was instrumental in the victory, saving well from Paddy Madden and Jennison Myrie-Williams as Town at times looked suspect in defence, but overall it was an attractive offering of attacking football, with Nathan Byrne, Yaser Kasim and Luongo the stand-out performers.
When asked whether he enjoyed his afternoon, Cooper said: “It’s never enjoyable until the referee says there’s one minute to go and you’re winning 3-1.
“In a funny kind of way you enjoy it but the only thing that matters really is winning.”
Byrne, restored to the right after spending the entirety of pre-season at left back, put in perhaps his most impressive shift in a Swindon shirt. And Cooper feels he and Brad Smith, who made his debut on the opposite flank against Scunthorpe, will offer Town plenty in 2014/15.
He said: “I thought he (Byrne) was outstanding. He caused problems getting behind them all the time and the more Brad Smith trains and gets used to us and the more we get used to him, the more we’ll see from him.
“I was pleased with Nathan Byrne because he’s had to play on the left all pre-season and he’s not moaned, he’s just got on with it. Today he showed what a real attacking threat he can be.”
FULL PREVIEW OF TUESDAY'S CAPITAL ONE CUP TIE AT LUTON IN TOMORROW'S ADVER
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