Barnsley Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper | Attacking spots up for grabs

2nd January 2020
First team

Steve Cooper has told his attacking players places remain up for grabs as Swansea City prepare to host Charlton Athletic.

The head coach has occasionally had to bemoan the lack of a clinical edge in the final third this season, and was left frustrated as chances went begging in Sunday’s draw with Barnsley.

Cooper has acknowledged that the form, consistency and leadership of Andre Ayew – the Swans’ top scorer with 11 goals this season – mean the Ghanaian is all-but guaranteed a starting role if fit.

However, the 40-year-old says all other forward positions remain there to be secured, with 13 players other than Ayew having been utilised in Swansea’s quartet of forward positions at some stage of the Championship campaign.

And he has laid down the gauntlet to his charges - in the wake of Sam Surridge’s recall by Bournemouth - to follow Ayew’s lead and nail down an indisputable spot in the Swansea line-up.

Barnsley Steve Cooper

“As we have already seen, things can change. We have used a lot of players up there over the first half of this season,” said Cooper.

“Andre has cemented his place because of his level of performance, it has meant he is not even a discussion point when it comes to him staying in the team.

“I think, for the other attacking players, it’s about being the next person who we do not have to discuss whether they are in the team.

“That’s nothing against anyone, and that is nothing I have not told them.

“We train in a way that gives players an opportunity impress, and we do pick players from that.

“I know some of the lads will not be happy at the moment, but they are getting on with their work and will be ready and able when called upon.”