Brandon Cooper | I have to learn this lesson and work for another chance
It may not have come in the circumstances he would have liked, but Swansea City defender Brandon Cooper hopes more first-team chances will follow after making his first appearance of the season at QPR.
The 19-year-old was one of a number of players handed an opportunity to impress in the third round of the FA Cup, but could not prevent a heavy 5-1 defeat.
It was just his second senior Swansea appearance, the last having come against Crystal Palace in August 2018.
And, having seen his former under-23 colleagues Joe Rodon and Ben Cabango make the step up to regular first-team action, Cooper has his sights set on following in their footsteps.
“I’m glad I got an opportunity to get out on the pitch with the first team,” said the teenager, who recently signed a contract extension through to 2021.
“My goal is to keep making appearances and ticking off these milestones.
“Obviously, it has come under difficult circumstances with the game and result, but it’s another milestone and learning opportunity for myself against good players.
“Every day, I get the opportunity to show the gaffer and his staff what I’m about.
“It’s only one appearance so I must keep working hard to get more and more experience behind my back.”
Head coach Steve Cooper has spoken of how the ups and downs of football provide valuable experience and learning for young players.
While Cooper would clearly rather not have been on the end of such a heavy defeat, he knows there are plenty of positives and negatives he can take from it.
“It was a disappointing result and disappointing for the fans who have travelled down and watched that performance. It’s hard to take.
“We lost the game in the first half. The first three goals killed us; we could have done better to stop them and that would have given us a better chance of staying in the game.
“They were ruthless in putting their chances away; it meant we had no room for error.”
“I’ve learned that you can’t lie down when you’re getting beat. You must stand up and fight – even when the going gets tough. You must try to lead by example.
“I was trying to help get the most out of everyone by continually communicating and showing a desire to get back into the game.
“I must do the most of what is in my control and go from there."