Cooper: I’m ready to seize my chance
SIGNED, sealed and delivered it might not be but Mark Cooper is leaving Swindon Town chairman Jed McCrory with little option other than to make him permanent manager after a second win in a week.
Play-off semi-final heartbreak may have sparked the departure of ten first team players but what remains is a youthful, enterprising side, who via Massimo Luongo’s fabulous strike, secured their first league win of the season.
Luongo, one of a spate of summer loan additions from Tottenham Hotspur, was typical of a considered Robins display, which helped overcome a Stevenage side whose manager Graham Westley is enduring a difficult third spell in charge.
After enhancing his application for the permanent position, Cooper expressed his eagerness for the role.
“I’m not the person to ask but I’m trying,” he said.
“I’ve enjoyed the work and the club have made me feel really welcome and it seems to be getting better every week, whether that means I’ll be the manager or not we’ll see.
“All I can do is my best; I’m trying my hardest. Along with the rest of the staff we’re working really hard to get a team on the pitch that the fans can applaud.
“Of course, I would like the job on a full-time basis.”
Swindon’s squad might be short of the quality of the side which went within a penalty shoot-out of Wembley last term, but Cooper has quickly introduced an absorbing passing game which left Stevenage chasing shadows.
After Steve Arnold kept out Andy Williams, a flowing passing move led to Swindon hitting the front through Luongo’s stunning 25-yard effort.
If the home side were inventive in the first half then Stevenage were far too predictable but after the break they preyed on inexperience as Swindon began to tire.
Greg Tansey skewed over but it was substitute Dani Lopez who spurned the chance of a point with a weakly aimed header.
“We know it’s going to take time to settle the side down and start playing to a level that we need to play at,” said ‘Boro boss Westley.
“I think we were a bit predictable in the first half and when you’re building a new side it’s difficult for a team to understand changes.
“The process is never an easy one and you’ve got to make sure you don’t get too carried away when things go well and too carried away when things don’t go so well.
“We’ve got edged out so that’s progress in itself.”