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Elgin defender Cooper bemoans lack of crowds for Caley Thistle double header

Elgin City defender Matthew Cooper.
Elgin City defender Matthew Cooper.

Elgin City defender Matthew Cooper feels the upcoming friendly double header against Caley Thistle will be a much-changed spectacle without supporters.

City host Inverness today, before the Black and Whites make the trip to Caledonian Stadium next weekend to face the Championship side.

Cooper, who previously played for Caley Jags, feels the lack of supporters will impact on the games given the keenly felt rivalry between the two sides.

Cooper said: “The Inverness games will be a good test for us. It’s a shame there will be no fans as they are usually well-attended fixtures that everyone looks forward to.

“It has been strange with no fans and all the protocols we have to follow, but we have to accept this is the new normal.

“Hopefully we get the season started and have fans back in the door as soon as possible.”

Cooper will come up against his former Elgin team-mate Shane Sutherland, who left to rejoin Caley Jags for a second spell in the summer.

Cooper is wary of what to expect from the forward, with the 26-year-old adding: “It will be good to see Shane again. This will be the first time I have ever played up against him in a proper game. He has been working hard during the break, so he has given himself a good chance there.

Shane Sutherland.

“We all know the quality he has and I’m sure he will be up for it, so it will be a good test for us.”

Elgin finished third in League Two last season, with Cooper aiming to be equally competitive in the shortened 27-game upcoming campaign.

Cooper added: “It was tough the way the season ended, not getting a chance to finish when we were playing so well.

“The extended break made it even more important to keep ourselves at a good standard of fitness, so we could get straight back to it without weeks of running.

“It was a relief to finally get back having been without a football for around half a year.

“The bonus this season is the core of the squad has stayed the same.

“That has helped us a lot, as everyone knows the standards that were set last year and where we want to be.

“With less games this year, it’s important to get off to a good start. It’s going to be a very competitive league again this year, but the aim is still the same no matter how many games we play.”

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