Middlesbrough Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper | A fantastic way to restart the season

20th June 2020
First team

Steve Cooper hailed a fantastic result for his side as Swansea City made an ideal return to Championship action with a 3-0 victory at Middlesbrough.

A brace from Rhian Brewster and Andre Ayew’s penalty had the Swans firmly in control with barely 30 minutes on the clock at the Riverside Stadium.

It was an advantage they held to the end of the contest, knowing the margin of victory could have been greater had Aldo Kalulu, Brewster and George Byers not been denied by the woodwork.

And, on the back of a three-month spell without competitive action due to the Coronavirus pandemic, head coach Cooper was a happy man after seeing his team boost their play-off hopes.

“To win 3-0 away from home is a fantastic result at any time of the season, never mind having not played for as many months as we have and having little preparation to get ready for the game,” he said.

Middlesbrough Brewster Kalulu celebration

“To go 3-0 up as quick as we did, having missed two easier chances, is very pleasing. It gave us a brilliant foundation then to get a fantastic result.

“I can't say I loved too much after the third goal to half time. We had to remind the boys to keep believing in the way we play with the ball.

“We didn't quite get up the pitch enough but they took the message onboard, we still tried to play and legs were getting tired, so we used our substitutions.

“We defended a lot of long balls and set plays, but we were good for the clean sheet and nearly got a fourth at the end.

“It's obviously a fantastic result and a great restart for us, but there's still stuff we want to improve on. That'll always be the case, but it's important you enjoy victories like this away from home.”