DAN THE FAN: Unheralded Cooper has made his mark
4:00pm Thursday 17th October 2013 in Latest Sport News
MARK Cooper’s Town remain unbeaten in October and earned their third win in a row after riding a rough storm in Rotherham before comfortably beating Steve Evans’ side.
Once again our star man last Saturday was Alex Pritchard, who showed why he will one day surely grace the pitches of the Premier League.
The midfielder’s form has reflected everything about Swindon Town so far this season.
He started his Town career slowly but, since the first month of the campaign, he’s found his feet and place in the side and hasn’t looked back.
At points in games he can be frustrating when he doesn’t get his head up and find his man, but last Saturday he had his best game for the club.
When Town lined up at Peterborough’s London Road on August 6 for the first game of the season, not many fans would have predicted the club’s impressive start to the season.
Fifteen games in and Town sit seventh in League One, are Johnstone’s Paint Trophy quarter-finalists and enjoyed a memorable run in the Capital One Cup.
It was hard to predict how relatively unknown manager Mark Cooper would fare but, a few months in, he’s so far turned out to be a good appointment by the club.
Cooper has done a great job in building a new squad in such a short amount of time.
It’s a squad that still needs improvements at the back, but overall can challenge for a play-off place this season.
Free agent Yaser Kasim has been the surprise of the season – his performances of such a high standard that they attracted a bid from Championship leaders QPR in August.
Meanwhile, all the Spurs’ loan players have so far played a key role.
When fully fit, Ryan Mason has played at the same level as Pritchard but his injury problems have been a constant frustration.
I’m still amazed at how chairman Jed McCrory and director Lee Power managed to sign Massimo Luongo on a permanent deal – he clearly has all the talent to play at the highest level.
Hopefully we will get at least a couple of seasons out of him before he moves onto the bright lights of the Premier League.
I think the first 12 weeks of the season have been a welcome surprise for many – but the real challenge now begins for Cooper, as he needs to maintain the impressive start.
Tomorrow night Town welcome struggling Notts County to the County Ground.
The last Friday night game at the County Ground was in December 2012, when Town easily beat top-of-the-table Tranmere Rovers 5-0 in one of the best performances of last season.
- Follow me on Twitter @danjohnson_stfc