01:00PM, Friday 13 December 2019
Mark Cooper is keen to bring some success to Windsor in his first season as manager, and the side moved a step closer to achieving that with Tuesday’s 3-2 win over Burnham in the Floodlit Cup.
Cooper has been hampered by injury as well as a lack of options after taking over as manager earlier in the season and, although results improved initially, they’ve struggled for form and consistency in the last few weeks.
On Saturday they were held to a 2-2 draw by Tuffley Rovers at Stag Meadow, despite carrying a 2-1 lead into the interval. It left them in 14th place in the Hellenic Premier Division.
But they played some of the best football of his tenure to beat Burnham in the Floodlit Cup on Tuesday, the first time in four attempts this season they’ve managed to get one over Paul Shone’s side.
It was a good night for us,” said Cooper.
“We’ve played them competitively four times now, as well as in a friendly, and we’ve lost every game to date until last night (Tuesday).
“It was a great win for us. We were playing really well, especially in the last 20 minutes of the first half. Then, in the second half, we picked up where we left off and again played 20 minutes of really good football. We went 2-1 up then 3-1 up and I thought then we’d go on to comfortably win the game.
“At the end, when it was 3-2, with the pressure that we’ve been under against them in the past, you start to get a little bit concerned but we saw the game out.”
The result sees the Royalists through to the quarter-finals and Cooper is only a few hurdles away from lifting some silverware in his first season in charge.
“It’s the third cup match we’ve won in this competition and it puts us into the quarter final,” he said. “I believe we’ve got a home draw in quarter finals as well, so it’s obviously a competition we want to continue doing well in. So it’s very pleasing. We’re determined to win the competition and bring some success to the club. We’re very focused on it, but also want to pick up more points in the league.”
Windsor travel to Shrivenham in the Premier Division on Saturday. They’re in need of some points having not tasted victory in the league since their 1-0 success at Reading City on October 21.
“We had a disappointing draw on Saturday,” he said.
“I thought that offensively we looked good, and going forward it was the best we’ve been.
“We are playing some attractive football and have opened teams up. We go into Saturday against a tough Shrivenham side who have been performing well in the league. They’re third or fourth so it won’t be an easy game but we’ll be looking to get something from it.
“We don’t want to rotate the squad. I think it’s better to have games coming thick and fast. As long as your players can stay injury free. I think we’ve been hindered by the lack of games over the last month. We’ve had three games called off. Three consecutive weeks with no football doesn’t help. If we can play the same side every week I would do. Players will come in, if they do well they’ll keep the shirt, we won’t rotate them.”
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