Swans boss wants progress to continue on and off the pitch

3rd September
First team
Forest Green Rovers (H) Cooper

Steve Cooper insists Swansea City are focused on further improvements on and off the pitch following a busy period at the club.

The Swans saw chairman Trevor Birch leave the club to join Tottenham Hotspur on Tuesday, with new chief executive Julian Winter replacing him soon after.

That came following a busy transfer window which saw the Swans sign loanees Freddie Woodman, Morgan Gibbs-White and Marc Guehi from Premier League trio Newcastle United, Wolverhampton Wanderers and Chelsea, while Jamal Lowe sealed a move from Wigan and Korey Smith joined on a free transfer following a successful spell with Bristol City.

With the season about to kick-off this weekend with the first round of the Carabao Cup, the Swans – Championship play-off semi-finalists last term – are looking to get their campaign off to a winning start.

And Cooper revealed the determination within the club to keep building on the foundations put in place both on the pitch and behind the scenes at the Liberty.

“I know Trevor was only here a short time but he does leave a bit of a legacy with the culture that he set,” said Cooper. “Parts of the club was on its knees when he came in and he certainly made people feel proud of their jobs on and off the pitch.

“He brought about a wealth of experience and industry knowhow and always put that into fine action. The proof was in the pudding and the culture around the club was fantastic and is fantastic.

“He’s gone to a big job so that shows the true level of operator that he is.

“It’s really important that we try and carry that on now. We have to aim for that. There shouldn’t be any reason to take any backwards steps.

“He leaves a good management structure behind and it is set up to carry on so we need to make sure that is the case.

“I’ve only spoken to Julian briefly as it’s a busy time for everyone. I don’t know him personally, and the job will be a slightly bit different to Trevor’s - it will be a bit more on the business side.

“We all have to work together now and continue the progress.”

Julian Winter

Cooper’s side look to make progress in the Carabao Cup on Saturday when they face League Two side Newport County.

The Swans go into that game having beaten Forest Green Rovers – also of the fourth tier – 2-1 in a pre-season fixture at the Liberty on Tuesday afternoon.

The effects of covid-19 has meant the campaign starts in unique fashion as clubs begin with a cup tie during the international window.

With Ben Cabango and Connor Roberts on Wales duty, Bersant Celina away with Kosovo and Marc Guehi being selected by England Under-21s along with Wales Under-21s calling up Liam Cullen, Brandon Cooper, Jack Evans, Joe Lewis and Oli Cooper, it means the Swans boss’ options are limited for the tie.

Forest Green Rovers (H) Rodon

Joe Rodon is the only senior centre-back available for Saturday’s tie, though Cooper utilised Kyle Naughton and midfielder Jay Fulton alongside the Wales international for the midweek friendly win.

But he’s adamant his side are suitably prepared for a derby encounter with the Exiles at Rodney Parade.

“We won’t have much chance to rotate players because a lot of the players are out of the door for the international break,” he said. “I’ve always had the mindset that you work with the players that are in the building, and everyone is focused on the job ahead on Saturday.

“Everyone is excited and we are looking forward to getting the season started.”