Cooper | Andre thrives on responsibility

25th April 2021
First team
Reading away Andre Ayew

Steve Cooper hailed the impact of Andre Ayew after the Ghanaian came off the bench to help Swansea City secure a Championship play-off spot.

Needing a point to guarantee a top-six finish, Ayew came on in the 65th minute with the Swans trailing to Yakou Meite’s header.

But the Ghanaian’s first involvement saw his backheel spring Jay Fulton in on goal, with Jamal Lowe finished after the Scot’s initial shot was saved.

Ayew then went from provider to scorer as he calmly took a touch before converting Jake Bidwell’s cut-back with seven minutes to go.

Reading would level in stoppage time through Tomas Esteves, but the point saw Swansea make it back-to-back trips to the play-offs in what was Cooper’s 100th game in charge.

And, while Cooper acknowledged the contribution made by the whole team during the game, he had plenty of praise for man-of-the-match Ayew.

Andre Ayew and Jake Bidwell

“All the subs played their part, Connor Roberts and Korey Smith have regularly started for us, and Morgan Whittaker is a young lad doing well for us," said Cooper.

“We knew Wayne Routledge and Liam Cullen would not play 90 minutes, they both did well for us and we knew we would need our bench.

“Andre is a really good player and person, he thrives on being the big player and we are very happy to have him.

“The team comes first, not himself, and you could see that today.

“It would have been great if we didn’t need him, as it would have meant we were comfortable in the game.

“But we did, he was medically cleared to play 30 minutes, and it ended up being a good move thanks to the good work from Andre and the medical team.

“It helped get the result we wanted.”