NEW WINDSOR manager Mark Cooper had plenty of reason to celebrate after his first match in charge ended in a 5-0 win against Thame Rangers in the Hellenic League Floodlit Cup on Tuesday, writes Rob Stevens.

Dylan Ive was the star on show with his four-goal haul, with new signing Ryan Debattista also on target in the cup tie at Stag Meadow.

Cooper told the Observer: “It was a much more disciplined and solid performance and that is what we asked for.

“We had been making mistakes, in the friendlies that we’ve had, quite early on in the games, and we just wanted to eliminate that in midweek.

“The clean sheet was really important for me, just to be a lot more solid and structured, plus everyone to know their jobs and don’t get in the position where you are chasing the game early on.

“The preparation had been great for us and we were very fortunate to have two friendlies rather than go straight into competitive games.

“We’ve had the chance to look at everybody so we’re very fortunate to have had those two games.

“The performance against Burnham was quite a long way away from the one against Uxbridge, but for us it was good to see both the good and the bad.

“We could make decisions on how we want to play going forward, not just with personnel but also the shape and structure of the team.”

He continued: “We emphasised before the game in midweek that, even if you come in at half-time at 0-0, that’s absolutely fine.

“We want to be a side that wins and keeps clean sheets.”

“We might have already won a couple of games this season but we’ve always conceded, so we just want to start from a sound base, eliminate mistakes and become a team that is really hard to beat.

“Anyone would be delighted with a 5-0 win in their first competitive game but it’s very early and Thame were not a particularly strong side, so we were expected to win the game.”

Looking ahead to the recruitment of further players, the new manager added: “We’re going to bring in one or two.

“We’ve identified areas of the squad that we need to strengthen and we will do everything we can to strengthen where we feel we need bolstering.

Windsor return to action in the Hellenic League Premier Division with a visit to Stag Meadow from Shrivenham this Saturday (3pm).

Cooper said: “It will be a tougher game no doubt because Shrivenham have started okay.

“We’ve got a lot of work to do between now and then just to be as competitive as possible.

“It’s going to take a little bit of time to get our team and squad settled in terms of the personnel and how we want to play.

“That’s going to take a few weeks but of course you want points on the board and start winning games, but that will come as soon as we get everything settled.”

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