MARK Cooper believes that the model of nurturing young talent and playing an attractive brand of football adopted by Crewe Alexandra is one that a lot of teams have tried to follow.
Speaking before the two sides meet tomorrow in League 1, the Town boss also hopes that the playing surface at the Alexandra Stadium makes for a good game of football.
“Crewe are a long way down the line compared to us,” he told swindontownfc.co.uk “They’ve been at it for an awful long time in terms of the way they played with Dario (Gradi) and Steve (Davis) has obviously carried that on. They’re the model a lot of teams have tried to follow. The money they’ve brought in has enabled them to develop the stadium and get them a really good training facility so they’re the model.
“It’s always a difficult place to go. I’m happy we’re playing there early this year. It’s usually one of the pitches we play on towards the end of the season and, because of that big stand there, it doesn’t get a lot of sunlight on it so it gets a bit bare and bobbly. We’re hoping that we’re playing them at the right time of the year and it makes for a good game of football.”
Following defeat at the hands of Sheffield United last weekend, Town needed penalties against Newport to secure a place in the next round of the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy.
“It’s always good to win however you win,” he said. “With the bodies we had available the other night, to only have two outfield players on the bench and for the young boys to come in and get that experience then Will (Randall) to come in and score the winning penalty is good. We’ve never really been down (about losing to Sheffield United) we just never had the firepower to hurt them. Hopefully, now we’ve solved that. We might be a bit light defensively on Saturday but, after that, we’ll be back to normal.”
Wes Thomas and Nicky Ajose are two additions to his squad that the manager hopes will bolster Town’s attacking force, especially as the latter returns to one of his old stomping grounds this weekend.
“Wes, we know, can rampage at this level,” he continued. “He’s quick, he’s strong, he doesn’t give defenders a minute, he’s on their case all the time, he’s chasing, he’s harrying and we know if we get enough balls in-and-around the box he’ll cause problems.
"Nicky works incredibly hard and has got a terrible habit of scoring goals for us. He had a good loan spell and did well for them last year. I’m sure he’ll be desperate to get off the mark early.”