Steve Cooper | Play-off lead will not change our mindset

26th July 2020
First team
Brentford (H) Cooper

Steve Cooper has vowed Swansea City will continue to be positive after taking a 1-0 first leg lead in the Championship play-off semi-final against Brentford.

Andre Ayew’s left-footed volley with nine minutes remaining proved enough to see off the 10-man Bees in SA1, with Ayew earlier missing a penalty and Rhian Brewster unable to convert a close-range header.

The visitors, who had Rico Henry sent off in the second half for a rash challenge on Connor Roberts, saw Ollie Watkins and Said Benrahma go close in an intriguing tactical battle.

Head coach Cooper felt his side could have come away with a greater lead to show for their efforts, but has insisted there is no prospect of Swansea playing for the draw that would see them advance in Wednesday’s second leg at Griffin Park.

“In terms of the game I am satisfied with tonight. It was a good game, and a good win against a good team,” said Cooper.

“The first half was edgy and tactical, and there were things we had to manage at half time.

“Both teams had good chances to score, as you would expect with us both having dangerous attacking players.

“The second half was more eventful with the penalty miss, then the bad tackle and red card, and it became a different game.

Brentford (H) Celebration 2

“We were disappointed not to get more than the one, Rhian had a good shot and then the one from his head off a set play maybe goes in on another day.

“We felt we were a real threat when we worked the ball into the box.

“It means we have a small advantage, but it is only an advantage if we use it. We will recover and prepare as we do normally. Nothing changes.

“We will speak about how to improve and, as far I am concerned, it will be 0-0 and we go to play as normal.

“Playing for a draw would be a dangerous game, and it is not something that suits our mentality. It is still all to play for, and it is still in the balance.

“Brentford are a good team and we will have to be ready. It’s only half-time, and if you are 1-0 up at half-time in a game you never think it is over.”