Steve Cooper | We are all in this together
Steve Cooper believes the togetherness of Swansea City as a club can be a key asset when they face Brentford in the Championship play-off semi-finals.
The Swans showed great resolve to keep battling for a top-six finish, and got their reward in dramatic fashion as a 4-1 win over Reading booked their place.
They now take on the Bees, who finished third in the table after missing out on automatic promotion, over two legs, with the first at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday (6.30pm).
And, when asked what this play-off opportunity meant for him in his first season in senior management, Cooper made clear Swansea’s promotion push is about the collective and not any one person.
“It’s not about any individual, it’s certainly not about me. It’s about the club,” said the head coach.
“As soon as you step through the doors at this club you realise the togetherness is the most important thing.
“That’s whether it is the players, the coaching staff, the support staff, the staff at the stadium or the supporters.
“There is no hierarchy at this football club and that’s led by Trevor Birch and how he runs the club, and we try and do the same on the playing side.
“We are a community club and not all areas of the country have that, so when you have got it, you have to live and breathe it every single day.
“The club that plays in the play-offs on Sunday and Wednesday will be a club that is very much together, supporting each other, and when you have that it can be very helpful, particularly in good times like this.
“You look at the four teams in the play-offs and we are the outliers. We are playing a team who have bought players in recent years - and sold some I know – but they have bought players.
“In the other semi-final the other two clubs have two of the best resourced squads in the league, and the strength in depth they have is ridiculous compared to us.
“But we don’t mind that. We really believe in what we do. We love the fact we have loads of young players and we have given them opportunities, we love trying to play in a certain way.
“I’ve read things about us scraping into the play-offs, but you can’t do that after 46 games. We deserve to be there.
“I know it was dramatic, but you get what you deserve. The boys have been brilliant and the supporters have backed us through little runs where we have not won as much as we would like.
“We have never changed our way of playing, and we have never stopped believing in the players, especially the young ones.
“We have stuck to our guns, you could see the other night where we needed three goals, we did not boot the ball forward, they came from the way we play and that pleases me more than anything.
“We are going into this next couple of weeks with everything we have got. We are backing ourselves and we need to thrive on it and enjoy it. There is everything to go for.”