Cooper: I’m ready to seize my chance

The Football League Paper - - CHAMPIONSHIP - By Nick How­son To comment on this match go to http://boards.footy­

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.”

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