"We're certainly creating more opportunities" - Cooper feels Town's change in style is reaping rewards

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Assistant manager Andy Cooper believes Town are seeing the benefits of their change in style.

Manager Chris Millington said recently that the sale of Milli Alli has prompted The Shaymen to switch from a counter-attacking approach to being more proactive and assertive.

And Cooper feels it has started to materialise on the pitch.

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"Hopefully it's evident to see," he said. "It's out there, we're not shying away from it, but it does take time, it takes full commitment because the opposition you play is completely different.

Andy CooperAndy Cooper
Andy Cooper

"The style is almost only as good as we are to commit to it against the opponents and how they let us play.

"Some teams will go right at us and press us and we have to commit to what we're doing, others will sit off and allow you to have the ball for a bit longer.

"Maidenhead pressed us well and in other games they've mixed it up, sometimes they've gone after teams and sometimes not.

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"But it's been about us and what we do with the ball and I think we've been a bit more purposeful with it and we're certainly creating more opportunities, and long may that continue."

Town go into Saturday's game with back-to-back wins for the first time since October thanks to victories against Dorking and Maidenhead.

"We can't get carried away, you can't get too high or too low in this game," Cooper said.

"We need to take stock and focus everything on getting everyone rested and recovered and getting prepped for Woking.

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"We won't get carried away, nothing's been achieved yet, but we are obviously pleased with the two wins.

"It was thoroughly deserved in the style and how we did it on Saturday, and could have scored more, and then on Tuesday, we had to dig deep against a team who'll put in on you for long periods.

"They're really tough to break down, they don't concede loads of goals but sometimes you just need to remain patient, commit to the game-plan and that's what we did.

"So two different ways to win but it puts us in a confident mood for Saturday but without getting over-confident, we know nothing's been achieved yet."

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When asked if he felt Town had turned a corner after their last two games, Cooper said: "I think we just have to keep looking for the next challenge, which is Saturday.

"We know we go Saturday-Tuesday, and then we're back on a couple of weeks of Saturday-Saturday.

"We've been in this stage before where injuries can spill out of a run of Saturday-Tuesday games, for every team, and when we speak to opposition managers, they say the same thing.

"In terms of points, yes. In terms of performance, we still want to improve, we've still got lots to do but we're pleased with the manner of how we're picking up victories - digging in in one sense and being a bit more dominant and stronger on the other one."

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Woking are fourth from bottom in the National League having won just nine of their 32 league games this season.

"Milly can be quick to remind me that this is the stage of the season where there's a lot of results where everyone beats everyone," Cooper said.

"You look at it on the coach on the way home from away games and see the other results - Fylde are winning games now, Kiddy have won four in a row, Chesterfield drew against a team (Ebbsfleet) with an interim manager who's just been made manager, so it's really difficult to predict.

"They'll get our full respect and full prep that we do for any opposition, regardless of where they are because we know that anyone can beat anyone on their day in this league, in the same way we've beaten teams who've been on long unbeaten runs or gone to away grounds where a team haven't lost in a year and taken that off them.

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"It's the same for us. We know they'll scrap and they'll be fighting for their lives but we've got a rea purpose and a real intent to go and get three points and continue the push up the league after a difficult spell."

Saturday's result will have an impact at both end of the table, with Town in touching distance of the top seven again, although they have played more games than those around them.

"It'll just go next game and focus on how we can win the next game," Cooper said.

"If we start looking ahead too far or start to look at other teams around us in terms of games in hand and what it might look like, you can just get lost and it can distract all your energies, during a relentless schedule, away from what's really important, which is getting everyone rested and recovered and ready, training on point, making sure everything's spot on and that nothing slips in standards, to make sure we're ready for the game on Saturday.

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"Obviously there's outside noises about would we rather have the points in the bag and have played the extra games or would we rather have games in hand but it's irrelevant because we're not in control of that, we can only control what we can do which is make sure we're ready for Saturday.

"It sounds cliched but normally they're there for a reason because we can't sit back or sit and look what other teams are doing in terms of their games in hand because it's going to play out anyway.

"We can watch them, go to live games and make sure we're well prepped but we've got to let them do their thing and just focus on us.

"It's helped when times were difficult, not getting too far head of ourselves and just focus on 'what's going to affect Saturday?', 'what's going to affect tomorrow?', 'what's the best thing we can do to get the most out of the squad?' rather than looking too far ahead at being so many points off or having games in hand or the other way round.

"We try not to get involved too much in the league table and that's driven by the manager."

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