Mark Cooper unhappy with lack of Darlington focus

Mark Cooper
Cooper is yet to decide his team selection for May's FA Trophy final

Darlington manager Mark Cooper has warned his players they must continue to play for their futures despite reaching the FA Trophy final.

The Quakers have lost four of eight league games since beating Gateshead in the semi-finals, including Saturday's 3-2 away defeat by Hayes & Yeading.

"Their minds are on Wembley, big time," Cooper told BBC Tees.

"We've tried to do everything to guard against it, some will get their day out at Wembley, but that might be it."

Cooper's side face Mansfield Town in the FA Trophy final on Saturday, 7 May, but have four league games remaining starting with Tuesday's trip to Kidderminster Harriers.

Cooper added: "I haven't made my mind up about the team.

"There are probably seven or eight players who pick themselves but after that, everything's up for grabs."

The Quakers were without Fulham-bound centre-back Dan Burn for the trip to Church Road on Saturday, after a knee injury forced his absence.

However if the Blyth-born defender is unavailable, Cooper could call upon the experience of 41-year-old assistant boss Richard Dryden to bolster his squad.

"We're hoping Dan Burn will be fit [for Wembley], if not then Richard is registered," Cooper said.

"The one thing he would do is go in and organise, talk to people and get his head on the ball."

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