Young centre-half pair praised after Barnsley clean sheet

29th December 2019
First team
Barnsley Ben Cabango Ben Wilmot

Steve Cooper praised young centre-backs Ben Wilmot and Ben Cabango after they claimed a first Championship clean sheet in the goalless draw against Barnsley.

The pair, who have a combined age of 39 and a total of 17 second-tier appearances between them, helped the Swans keep a first home clean sheet since the derby win over Cardiff in October.

And, while frustrated the Swans had failed to take their chances at the other end, Cooper was pleased to see Wilmot and Cabango perform capably in the absence of the injured Mike van der Hoorn and Joe Rodon

“There are positives to take, it’s a credit to the two young centre-backs. They are 19 and 20, playing again after playing at Brentford, they did well and keeping a clean sheet,” said Cooper.

“But they have done well. I like seeing young players play, putting two of them together at centre-back is probably not the ideal situation but they will be better for this and every game they play as that’s how young players learn.

“I thought fair play to them today, they did a good job.”

Mike van der Hoorn

Cooper also confirmed van der Hoorn is likely to miss Thursday’s game against Charlton as he continues to recover from the knee injury that forced him out of the defeat at Brentford.

But the Dutchman should return reasonably quickly.

“Mike and Joe are our first-choice centre-backs it is fair to say, and we saw how formidable they are at the start of the season,” said Cooper.

“But injuries happen. Mike should not be out too long, it’s still a bit inconclusive but the scan says it should not be too long.

“It’s just a case of settling his knee down. Charlton will probably come too early for him.”