Borja is ‘enjoying life’ at Swansea, says boss Cooper

Swansea manager Steve Cooper believes Borja Baston is revelling in the role of leading the line after his brace secured a 3-2 triumph over Preston.

The £15million Spanish striker went 1,022 days without a Swansea goal before the start of this season but now has three goals in three league games.

It was his equaliser against the run of play on the stroke of half-time that gave the hosts a lifeline after Joe Rafferty’s early strike put a dominant Preston side ahead after 11 minutes.

George Byers came on at the break and side-footed the ball into the back of the net to put the hosts in-front but Daniel Johnson levelled from the spot three minutes later after Connor Roberts fouled Sean Maguire.

But Borja headed in the winner on 69 minutes to cap off a manic six minute period and move his side onto seven points from their first three games.

“Borja is happy, he is a big character who is very well liked in the dressing room and you can see he is enjoying life in Swansea,” said Cooper.

“You look at his two finishes, they are outstanding number nine finishes. The first is a cut-back from Connor, he calmly puts that in and the header was fantastic, a great goal.

“We saw parts of Borja at his best today, and that is being in the box scoring goals. That’s what number nines hopefully do best.

“He has three in three now, he is scoring a lot of goals in training and working hard. You can see he is not just about when we have got the ball.

“In the first half, and the players know this, we were not at the level we strive to be at. We gave the ball away cheaply, we did not press intensely enough and allowed Preston – who we knew were a strong team – to build momentum, score a goal and control large parts of the game.

“But we scored some excellent goals, with some really good play while showing good resilience, character and pride for the football club.”

Preston completely controlled the first half but opened the door for Swansea to get back into the game, and manager Alex Neil wants his team to learn from their mistakes.

“I don’t think there’s any question we should have been further in front at the end of the first half,” he said.

“We had three or four golden opportunities that we didn’t take, but at this level you are never going to dominate away from home for 90 minutes.

“Other than the goals, Declan only had one save to make we had sustained pressure in the first-half but didn’t make it count.

“The simple fact is that football is about having resilience and coming up against setbacks. We shouldn’t have been level at half-time but we were, at the end of the day we gave the ball away and got punished.

“We have to look at the positives but realise we contributed to the negatives as well and we have to deal with that.”

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

FourFourTwo Staff

FourFourTwo was launched in 1994 on the back of a World Cup that England hadn’t even qualified for. It was an act of madness… but it somehow worked out. Our mission is to offer our intelligent, international audience access to the game’s biggest names, insightful analysis... and a bit of a giggle. We unashamedly love this game and we hope that our coverage reflects that.