Andre Ayew showed his toughness, says Cooper
Steve Cooper hailed the mental toughness of Andre Ayew after the Ghanaian shook off a penalty miss to score the winner in Swansea City’s first-leg win over Brentford at the Liberty Stadium.
The Swans hold the advantage in the Championship semi-final thanks to Ayew’s magnificent volley with nine minutes remaining, as the forward registered his 18th goal of the season.
That came after Ayew had failed to convert from the spot for the first time this season, seeing Bees keeper David Raya make an excellent save with his trailing right hand after Pontus Jansson had brought down Rhian Brewster.
It ensures Swansea head into Wednesday’s second leg a goal to the good, and head coach Cooper praised the strength of character shown by his vice-captain.
“Andre has missed a penalty, but brushed it off and raised his game even more, and it came off with the goal,” said Cooper.
“His mentality is of the highest order, to brush off the disappointing return from a penalty where you fancied him.
“To have such an impact and score the goal tells you everything about the mentality he has.
“If anything, the miss affected him in a positive way.
“He is really important for us, and what is more impressive with his goalscoring record is that for a lot of the season he has played out wide, and not through the middle.
“Before Rhian came here he was our main hope for being a goalscorer, and he has lived up to the level of player we know he is.”