Defensive application pleases Swansea City boss Cooper

7th March 2020
First team
West Brom Joe Rodon

Steve Cooper praised his side’s approach to their defensive duties after they kept free-scoring West Brom quiet in their goalless draw at the Liberty.

The Baggies entered the game as the Championship leaders, and as the division’s top scorers with 64 goals from their 36 games prior to the visit to SA1.

But they were limited to a solitary shot on target by a disciplined and enthusiastic performance without the ball, while the Swans also created the clearer chances.

The head coach was quick to praise a fine team effort, but particularly highlighted the work of full-backs Kyle Naughton and Jake Bidwell.

“Going into this game they were the league’s top scorers by a little way,” said Cooper after his side's 11th clean sheet of the season.

“I know they had a couple of shots late on, but they have gone over the bar, and has Freddie had a save of any note to make?

“We have forced them into that, they are not just poor finishes, everyone did their job defensively.

“I never felt we were hanging on, or we were really under the cosh or it was a matter of time before West Brom would score.

West Brom Steve Cooper

“We probably had the better moments in the game, we worked hard for those moments but did not capitalise.

“But we had three teenagers on the pitch, we had players just back from injury and things like that so we can be very optimistic about what we saw today, and it can stand us in good stead for the remaining nine games.

“The centre-halves played well, but you have to talk about the full-backs too, they have been excellent in recent weeks.

“It’s very much a unit, the centre-backs need to have relationships with their full-backs and they are doing that.

“If we continue that it will definitely be helpful.

“You cannot talk about Joe Rodon and Ben Cabango without also mentioning how well Kyle Naughton and Jake Bidwell are doing.”