Cooper excited for Shaymen's "absolutely massive" promotion six-pointer against Oldham Athletic

Andy Cooper says Tuesday night's promotion six-pointer against Oldham Athletic is "an absolutely massive game".
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Town are eighth in the National League on 56 points, and host sixth-placed Oldham, who have two points more.

"Excited, Tuesday night under the lights with a big crowd," said Cooper on the game.

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"I think we're at our best and the home fans are at their best when the sides of the stadium are filled and we can get an atmosphere going.

Andy CooperAndy Cooper
Andy Cooper

"Really looking forward to it, been to watch them a couple of times recently, we'll be diligent with our work but we'll try to focus on us, on what we can do to hurt them and we'll be bang up for it.

"It's an absolutely massive game, going into the final ten games we know every game's an opportunity to put your stamp on the home straight.

"All our energies will go into making sure we're bang up for it and bang ready and we put the lads in a good frame of mind with a good game-plan to get more points on the board."

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Defender Ryan Galvin is the only possible returnee from Town's injured list for the match, with Cooper admitting that in an ideal world, there are players in the team who would be rested.

"The short answer is yes, but we're not feeling sorry for ourselves or crying about it," he said.

"It's normal, it happens in a season like this, a rigorous season of National League games.

"When you look at the fixtures coming up, seven in 23 days, the amounts the players cover in terms of distance, ideally there'd be lads who are rested and rotated and if you had a bigger squad you'd be able to manage that.

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"We don't but we don't see it as a huge negative, it is what it is.

"We have full faith in the squad and the team to rest, recover and go again."

When asked whether there were any new signings on the horizon, Cooper said: "The work to assess players and have a database of players never stops, and is constantly refreshed.

"But at this stage of the season, it's got to be the right player and the deal's got to be right for all parties.

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"It can't be ruled out because we are threadbare and it's more likely we're going to lose more players than lads are going to return over the next ten days or so.

"But I'm sure if we got the right player then we'd be able to do it, we'd get the support to be able to do that."

The Shay pitch isn't helping Town at the moment, and could mean Tuesday's game is postponed if it proves unplayable.

"There's no getting away from it and it's no slight on the groundstaff because we speak to them and they know what we think of them and the hard work they put in, but it is an issue," Cooper said.

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"It's out of our control but we'll deal with it. It does have an impact on style of play but there'll be no moaning or groaning from us, no excuses.

"We'll be ready to play them, it'll be a physical battle, there'll be duels at both ends of the pitch, they'll be direct, physical, aerial threat, they're good in wide areas.

"It'll be exciting, it'll be an entertaining game no doubt, one that we'll look forward to and relish.

"We've had some good days over the last nearly two years playing some of the bigger boys and we'll be bang up for it."

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If the game does go ahead, Cooper says the Halifax fans will have a huge role to play, with Oldham set to bring a strong away following.

"We're not perfect and we're not going to be dominant in every minute of every game, there's games where we're going to suffer for periods, so to have people be supportive and get behind the lads is more of a help," Cooper said.

"The staff can cope with any stick, we get it constantly, even when you're winning you're still getting shouts, but the lads will benefit from the support to lift them in moments where they might be suffering a bit.

"It's very rare you dominate from the first minute to the last, there'll be times where teams will chuck bodies on you and you have to deal with it, and in those moments we want the fans to be right behind us and support the lads as well as the great moments where we have good passages of play."