Steve Cooper | This is a key period
Steve Cooper wants Swansea City to kick off an important period with a positive, front-foot performance against Derby County.
The Swans host the Rams at the Liberty Stadium for what is the second of seven games Cooper’s side will play during the month of February.
That sequence started positively with a draw at Preston, against a North End side boasting the best points return on home soil in the Championship.
The Swans have won four of their last nine games, but face a Derby side who have suffered one defeat in eight in all competitions since Wayne Rooney made his long-awaited bow in January.
But with Swansea unbeaten in five games on home turf, head coach Cooper is determined to keep that sequence going.
“They’ve had some good results of late, they are a big club in the division with well-known players and an experienced manager,” he said of the meeting with the Rams.
“They are doing well, but we focus on ourselves. We are at home, and we have played well at home recently.
“We have not played there for a few weeks now, but we want to pick up where we left off against Wigan and take the game to them.”
And with there set to be just 10 games remaining come the end of the month – and the Swans facing Derby, QPR and Hull in the space of six days – Cooper knows how important it could be if his side can put a strong run together at a key moment.
“We’re certainly getting to that stage, where you are looking at the bigger picture,” he said.
“You get through February, which is notoriously a busy month with a lot of games, and you’re close to countdown then.
“We know we’re in an important period so we very much want to capture that and make the most of it.
“We’ve got three games in the next week, there’s nine points to play for and that can make the difference in a number of ways.
“It’s important that we recognise the present and don’t look back. We’ve got to make things happen now. We’ve got to make sure that we deliver now.”