Pompey loan man aiming to bury ‘most frustrating’ campaign

Shaun Cooper fights for the ball. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (13225-3876)
Shaun Cooper fights for the ball. ''Picture: Sarah Standing (13225-3876)

THIS WEEK IN 1980: Fratton boycotted by Plymouth fans

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Shaun Cooper has targeted a flying end to his nightmare season.

Cooper has branded this campaign the ‘most frustrating’ of his career as he has found himself hindered by injuries.

But the 29-year-old is aiming for an extended run in the Pompey side after being restored to the starting line-up against Coventry.

Cooper made his first start in five weeks in the 2-0 win over the Sky Blues on Saturday.

A hip injury slowed his progress and he has had to wait for his chance since returning – with Pompey showing improved form with a settled side.

Cooper returned with a strong display after conceding an early penalty at the weekend.

Now the man who is on loan from Crawley is after more of the same over the final six games.

That will help him bury the problems which have made the campaign his toughest ever.

‘It’s been a horrible season for me,’ said Cooper.

‘It’s been bitty and I’ve had no momentum.

‘It’s just been a season where I keep picking up niggles here and there.

‘It’s been the story of my season and my most frustrating by some distance.

‘They haven’t been big injuries but have held me up.

‘A major factor in that has to be I signed late for Crawley and missed a big chunk of pre-season.

‘I’ve been playing catch up since, so that has contributed to that. But hopefully I’m over that now and can aim to push forward from here

‘I feel good physically and when I feel good physically I don’t have to worry too much and there aren’t worries in my mind.

‘Personally, now I want to play as many games as possible and see the team do well.’

Saturday’s win over Coventry makes it three wins and a draw from five games in March for Guy Whittingham’s side.

Only Leyton Orient have shown more impressive form this month in League One, with the Blues unfortunate to come away from the Matchroom Stadium empty-handed a fortnight ago.

Cooper believes there is a good dressing room of players around him, who are capable of finishing the season strongly.

The man who came through the ranks at Fratton Park feels there are decent foundations being put in place – if Pompey can find a stable future.

He said: ‘The momentum is coming now.

‘There’s a great group of players here in terms of personalities and characters.

‘They are all good professionals and – young lads or older lads – we all want to win.

‘We are all giving it 100 per cent and there is ability.

‘It’s a shame it’s happened so late but we are going forward.

‘It’s ifs and buts and no-one can predict what can happen but there could be a strong team here for the future.’