Steve Cooper reveals Bersant Celina's target for 2019-20
Swansea City head coach Steve Cooper has revealed how Bersant Celina reported for duty this pre-season determined to get among the goals and assists during his second Championship campaign with the club.
The Kosovo international joined from Manchester City a year ago, and racked up eight goals and seven assists in all competitions.
But the 22-year-old was not happy with that tally and, when he sat down with Cooper at the Swans training camp in Spain, both men had similar thoughts on where he could improve.
Celina has since netted three goals in the last two pre-season games, producing a magnificent free-kick to open the scoring in Saturday’s 3-1 win at Exeter, before finishing off a flowing team move for the second.
And Cooper hopes the sight of Celina celebrating will be one seen regularly during the upcoming Championship season.
“We’ll take a few of those this season, there’s no doubt about that,” said Cooper of Celina’s opener.
“Bersant, by his own admission, needs to score more goals than he did last year because he is technically more than capable of doing that.
“We had a really grown-up conversation in Spain and he brought it up that he thinks he should be creating and scoring more goals.
“I agree with him because, as I say, he is capable. So we need to make sure we help him practice that every day and challenge him to keep improving.
“He scored against Yeovil on Tuesday. I felt he should have scored more there, he knew it himself, and to be fair to him he has scored two here.
“He looked like he wanted the opportunity to score even more so it is great he has started as he means to go on and it’s important he maintains it now.”
And Cooper was pleased to hear Celina himself prepared to critique his own performances, and determined to do something about it.
“If you wear number 10 for Swansea City you are expected to create and score, and that’s what I am expecting from a player that plays in that position for us,” added Cooper.
“He is up for the challenge and in a really good place.
“He did not have as long a break as everyone else after international duty and he came back with good strength in his legs which is why he played only 45 minutes here because his numbers are good.”