Brentford Steve Cooper

Steve Cooper rues poor first-half showing

26th December
First team

Steve Cooper was left to rue a poor first-half display as Swansea City's fightback fell short at in-form Brentford.

The Swans gave themselves a mountain to climb after the hosts dominated the opening half, and held a deserved two-goal lead through strikes from Bryan Mbuemo and Ollie Watkins.

But Swansea rallied after a poacher’s finish from Andre Ayew had pulled a goal back with 25 minutes to play.

The visitors sniffed a point, but those hopes were extinguished when Watkins grabbed his second on the counter with two minutes to play.

And head coach Cooper was fully aware of where the game had got away from his side.

"The first-half performance was short," he admitted.

Brentford Steve Cooper

"We didn't do the basics well enough and the non-negotiables in terms of getting up to the ball and putting pressure on our opponents, looking after the ball when we get it, playing forward and being creative.

"In the end we gave away two soft goals, one from a set play and one where we've let the ball come into the box too easily and not marked up.

"We gave ourselves a real uphill challenge and, although we played a lot better in the second half and played with a lot more intensity and positivity, the first half did cost us.

"The third goal was a little bit of a runaway with us trying to get the equaliser, but that was always going to be the case because of the margin.

"So we're really frustrated with the first-half performance, but we've only got ourselves to blame."