Mark Cooper is not heading into this weekend’s match with Gateshead hoping for a replay.

With a hectic upcoming schedule, joked with BBC Somerset that the staff would be on the pitch to score an own goal.

He said: “We just had a meeting with the staff, if it’s if 0-0 with a minute to go, one of us is going to run on and score an own goal or we’re gonna ask them to do that. It [a replay] would be the worst thing for both clubs with amount of games that we’ve got coming up. It’s already a really busy month and something that we were not really thinking about if I’m honest.”

Cooper spoke highly of Gateshead, who have recently lost Mike Williamson to a plastic club in Milton Keynes, praising them as one of the ‘best pure football teams in the National League’.

“We know that we have our strength as well.”

“In my spare time, weirdly enough, I like watching them because they are, I would say, they’re the best, one of the best if, not the best pure football teams in the National League. The way they play they’re very similar to Notts County; pure possession but with an end product. Take Chesterfield out of it, I would say they are the toughest test we could get in the National League.

“I watched the Fylde game on Saturday they lost 4-0, [but] could have easily won the game. They lost two goals in the last minute so it made it a false score line. So, we have done some work this week to really nail down how to cope with Gateshead but we know that we have our strength as well.”

Cooper admitted that some of his squad have come to him with concerns about their game time this week: “There’s a couple of the boys that have spoken to in this week that are concerned about the amount of minutes they’ve got. But, I just said to them that you look at the fixture list, there’s games coming thick and fast and we’re gonna have to use the squad.”

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