Darlington to target top five finish - Mark Cooper

Mark Cooper
Cooper took over at Darlington in June 2010

Darlington boss Mark Cooper is aiming for a Blue Square Bet Premier play-off spot this season.

Having ended the last campaign in ninth place and as FA Trophy winners, Cooper is challenging his side to improve.

He told BBC Tees: "Let's use the momentum and ride it for as long as we can, there's no reason why we can't go and achieve more.

"If we can finish in the top five - fantastic. That's certainly what we're looking to do."

Cooper said his side should have finished higher in the league last season.

"For me it was lack of leadership in situations where we had games won, we'd let it slip and lose two points," he said.

"If you look back and look at those games, I think we'd have comfortably got into the play-offs."

Cooper believes new signing, defender Graeme Lee from Notts County, will help solve that problem this season.

"Promotions seem to have followed him around in his career, and that's not a fluke," he said.

"He's a leader off the pitch, on the pitch."

The Quakers' other summer signings are winger Adam Rundle from Morecambe, striker James Walshaw from Walsall, and utility player Kris Taylor from Port Vale.

Cooper confirmed that he is still looking to sign another striker as well as adding another goalkeeper to his squad to replace Danzelle St Louis-Hamilton who has moved to Fleetwood.

He said: "We need a goalkeeper and we need one that's going to push Sam [Russell]."

Former Liverpool goalkeeper Deale Chamberlain who is currently on trial at the club.

Cooper added that out-of-contract midfielder Michael Brough has started training again after undergoing knee surgery in January and could be back in contention at the start of the new season.

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