Steve Cooper hoping for selection boost from international contingent

31st March 2021
First team
Andre Ayew

Steve Cooper is hopeful his international contingent will give Swansea City a selection boost for the trip to Birmingham City on Good Friday (8pm).

A busy international window has seen a number of Cooper’s squad in action for their respective countries.

While Wales pair Connor Roberts and Ben Cabango were back amongst the training group today, Andre Ayew is yet to take part after picking up a knock while captaining Ghana.

Ryan Manning is travelling back to Swansea having come on as a late substitute in Ireland’s draw with Qatar in Hungary, while Marc Guehi is in action for England Under-21s today.

Meanwhile, Conor Hourihane is battling to be fit for the trip to the Midlands after coming off early in the defeat to Cardiff before the international break, which meant he was unavailable for Ireland’s games.

Conor Hourihane

“We’ve tried to be as productive as possible this week,” said Cooper. “Some of the boys haven’t returned from international duty.

“Andre is back, but he had a bit of a knock playing for Ghana.

“Conor came off against Cardiff. When Conor walked off we thought he may have pulled his hamstring and could be out for two to three weeks.

“But it was nerve damage, rather than a strain, which is a positive.

“So those two players have a chance of playing but aren’t training at the moment. We’ll see how it goes by the time Friday comes around.

Marc Guehi

“Marc will join up with the team in Birmingham. He flies into there with England Under-21s, so he’ll see us there. He plays at 5pm today, so we’ll see how he gets on.

“Ryan Manning is travelling back too as we speak, as he’s returning from Ireland duty.

“So we’ve had a bit of managing to do in terms of all of that as the game is on Friday, but we’re in good shape.”

Liam Cullen Forest cele

Cooper also confirmed that American international Paul Arriola remains sidelined with a thigh injury, though there was brighter news surrounding Liam Cullen.

The striker has been sidelined since January with an ankle injury sustained in the FA Cup win over Nottingham Forest.

The 21-year-old had been expected to miss at least three months, but the striker is ahead of schedule and could return to training next week.