Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper praises Swansea City belief

27th July 2019
First team

Head coach Steve Cooper felt his Swansea City side had laid down a marker for the season ahead by fighting back to beat Atalanta in their final pre-season friendly.

The Swans made it six wins from six as they secured a 2-1 success against the Serie A side, who are preparing for Champions League football this season.

The hosts had to come from behind after Josip Ilicic had fired the visitors into an early lead at the start of a first half they had the better of.

But Swansea were improved after the break and levelled when Hans Hateboer turned a Borja Baston cross into his own net.

They claimed victory thanks to Connor Roberts’ header from Bersant Celina’s cross, and Cooper was delighted by the belief and resilience his team showed.

“We played well second half, obviously it was tough first half. We came up against Champions League opposition, who were very good,” he said.

“But I am happy with that, because as I have said previously it was a real step up and challenge.

Atalanta cele

“We knew it would be that, and that’s how it proved and we are going to have to get used to having those moments in games – maybe not for a full 45 minutes – where you do not have it your own way.

“To be fair to the lads, they did not go missing, they stuck to the gameplan.

“We regrouped at half-time and tweaked a few things, but the main thing was they never lost belief, kept going and that has to be a non-negotiable this season.

“We have got to believe in ourselves, more than anybody else does. Today we showed that so we should be pleased with that.

“We need that, and we created a lot of good chances today. We may not have had as much of the ball as we would do. But, when we did, we got in dangerous positions.

“So I thought the equaliser and Connor’s goal was coming, and you have to believes in yourself to create those chances.”