Cooper "proud" of Joe Rodon following return

1st February 2020
First team
Preston Joe Rodon

Steve Cooper spoke of his pride in Joe Rodon after the Swansea City defender produced an excellent display in his first start for three months at Preston.

The 22-year-old centre-half recently returned from ankle tendon surgery, featuring off the bench in the defeat at Stoke.

He came into the starting XI at Deepdale and played as though he’d never been away, making a number of telling interventions including a key block in the closing stages.

And the Swans head coach was full of praise for the Wales international.

"I'm proud of Joe. I know it’s only one game, but he's worked so hard in his three months off to get back playing," said Cooper.

"He's really missed it. He's been the first into the training ground and often the last away.

"The closer he was getting to being on the grass, he was making sure he could be the fittest he could be.

Preston Joe Rodon

"So, to think he's only two weeks back into training and to play like he did today, it didn't look like he'd been away.

"He's been as good a centre-back as there is in the league for me, up until he got injured, and that's with respect to everyone else who's playing.

"He was having a fantastic season. To play like he did today, it's brilliant. I can't praise him enough for how he's conducted himself through rehab to get back on the pitch.

“I think it's given everyone else a boost as well because he is a very popular lad.

"But the first thing he said to me after the game were the one or two bits he thought he could do better. That's him."