SWINDON Town manager Mark Cooper is hopeful Jack Stephens will recover from tonsillitis in time to face Oldham Athletic on Tuesday night.
The defender, signed on Deadline Day from Southampton, has not trained for almost a week after contracting the bug but Cooper suggested he might be able to leap off his sick bed by the time the Latics arrive in Wiltshire.
Speaking after Swindon’s 2-1 victory over Bradford City on Saturday, the Town boss said: “He’s got tonsillitis so he’s been ill for four or five days now. He’s not trained since last Thursday so we’ve got him on antibiotics and hopefully he’ll be fit on Tuesday.
“I’m happy with the squad – I think we’ve got some really good young footballers and slowly but surely they’re maturing. This will give them belief and confidence.”
Cooper was pleased with the way his Swindon side played during chunks of the match at Valley Parade, though he felt the game should have been put to be well before Bradford’s assault on the Town goal in the final 20 minutes.
“Some of the football was very good. Some of the link play and interplay in midfield to get people in behind their back four was outstanding again,” he said. “We probably had a half-an-hour spell before half-time and just after where we played some really good stuff, just probably not long enough to dominate a game.
“Give Bradford a bit of credit – they’re a fit, strong side and they’ll give lots of teams problems.”
On the red card issued to Bradford’s Alan Sheehan for an apparent punch on Raphael Branco, Cooper said: “We’re not really a dirty team. The lads raised his hands and the referee’s decided to send him off. The referee sent two of ours off last year at Notts County, fortunately it wasn’t our turn today.”