Ollie Cooper getting better with every game, says Russell Martin

14th January 2023
First team
Ollie Cooper Sunderland

Head coach Russell Martin believes Ollie Cooper is getting better with every passing game after the midfielder’s superb strike sealed Swansea City’s 3-1 win at Sunderland.

The Swans were leading 2-1 with around 13 minutes to play at the Stadium of Light when a flowing move ended with a blocked shot.

But the ball ran into the path of Cooper, and he drove into the area before unleashing a rising strike that flew past keeper Anthony Patterson and into the roof of the net.

It was his fourth goal of the season and he received a warm embrace from Swans boss Martin when he was substituted during the closing stages.

And Martin was delighted with how decisive the midfielder was in taking on the shot.

“We actually had a great chance to play someone in on the other side of the box, which we did not take, but the ball has come to Ollie and it is a great finish,” he said.

Ollie Cooper Sunderland

“We have spoken with Ollie a lot about opportunities to shoot, and we have shown him a lot of clips.

“He is a great kid and he is just growing with every game. He is growing physically and he is incredible.

“If you look at how many times he regains the ball, he is right up there with the very best at that side of the game.

“Then, it’s up to him to keep adding to the other side of the game, which he is. It was a terrific finish, the way he arrived into the box showed real positivity and that is something that is growing game on game.

“We need to keep trying to encourage that, and Ollie needs to keep being that brave on the pitch."