Steve Cooper | I am so proud of these players
Steve Cooper spoke of his pride in his Swansea City players after they snatched a play-off spot on a dramatic final night of the season in the Championship.
The Swans needed to beat Reading, and hope either Cardiff or Nottingham Forest lost, with defeat for the Reds needing to be accompanied by a minimum of a five-goal swing.
In the end, there was a six-goal swing as the Swans won 4-1 against the 10-man Royals, while Forest were beaten by the same scoreline by Stoke at the City Ground.
Wayne Routledge grabbed a brace from the bench, while Liam Cullen opened his senior account for the club following Rhian Brewster’s first-half opener.
Reading had levelled through a George Puscas penalty, shortly after seeing Yakou Meite dismissed, as the Swans overcame the odds to set up a two-legged semi-final against Brentford.
And, while there is work still to be done when it comes to promotion, Cooper was delighted for his squad.
“What an eventful night! In the end we got the job done and that was the objective,” said the head coach.
“I don’t think we thought it would be that way, but it was going to take something extraordinary for it to happen, and it has.
“I can only focus on what we did here. We were just okay in the first half, we were decent with the ball, but not so good without it.
“We had to pick it up a little bit in the second half, particularly against 10 men, and we kept going.
“If you look at the goals we scored, it’s our way of playing. Once we knew we needed to score goals we did not panic and just lump balls into the box.
“We were patient, waited for the moment and scored four excellent goals.
“It was a bit of a blur late on, if I am honest, but we managed the game out and got over the line.
“We are calm now, and refocused, because it’s a time for a pat on the back, but it’s not a time for celebrations yet.
“But it was a brilliant night, I am so proud of the players' efforts to come here and win 4-1, but there are two games, maybe three, to come.
“We are all in it together, I know we are building for the short and long term and we are doing the right things. We will stick to them."