Sunday, July 25, 2021
Home Premier League Steve Cooper’s Andre Ayew admission as bullish Swansea City boss sums up...

Steve Cooper’s Andre Ayew admission as bullish Swansea City boss sums up huge play-off achievement after Reading draw

15
0

requestAnimationFrame(function () {
setTimeout(function () {
window._perfMarker && window._perfMarker(“TTVR.ArticleContent”, true, true);
define(“c.articleContent”, 1);
}, 0);
});

Steve Cooper has urged his Swansea City players not to be satisfied with a play-off place as they look to secure a Premier League return in the coming weeks.

Swansea earned a 2-2 draw with Reading at the Madejski Stadium to stay eight points clear of the seventh-placed Royals which means Cooper’s side will be involved in the play-offs with Barnsley, Brentford and Bournemouth.

However, having secured a place in the top six at the home of the Royals for the second season running, Cooper stressed his players must not settle for just a play-off spot while adding the Swans can be immensely proud to finish above better resourced Championship squads in the table.

“I’ve just said the players, I don’t know if achievement is the right word because this club has had big moments. They’ve been in the Premier League, won a big cup in recent years and played in Europe,” he said.

“I don’t want the ambition of the club to be that play-offs are an achievement.

“But, at the same time, we have to look at the present.

“You only have to look at the teams that are not going to be in the play-offs and be satisfied. The boys should be really happy with that.

“But we’ve got to be happy with that. The challenge is to be more consistent than what we’ve been in the run-in. We’ve not lacked effort or attitude. We lost four on the bounce and then we took seven points from the next three games. That’s a good sign of character.


Video: CLARET & BLUE: Is finishing in the Europa League places a step too far for Villa this season? (Birmingham Mail)

“We’ve come back again today and done what we needed to do.”

The Swans fell behind in Berkshire to Yakou Meite’s first-half header but turned the game around in the second half as Jamal Lowe and Andre Ayew both struck.

Tomás Esteves fired beyond Freddie Woodman in injury time to set up a tense finish, although the Swans claimed the point they needed to guarantee themselves a play-off spot.

Ayew was not expected to feature given that he sustained a hamstring in the 2-2 draw with Wycombe Wanderers just eight days earlier.

The Ghana international did not even take part in the pre-match warm-up, although his impact off the bench played a significant part in ensuring Swansea claimed a share of the spoils.

“I think all of the subs played a big part, as did the starters,” said the head coach.

“Andre, if we didn’t need him, great. That would have been lovely. But we did. We knew he’d been medically cleared to play [as a sub] and it ended up being a good move, good work from the medical team and great from Andre.”

Swansea take on Derby County next weekend before facing Watford at Vicarage Road on the final day of the regular season seven days later.

The first leg of the play-off semi-finals take place on Monday, May 17 while the second leg ties will be held five days later.

Sign up for our free daily Swansea City newsletter right here.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here