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Steve Cooper felt Swansea made Brentford look ‘second best’ during draw

Brentford v Swansea City – Sky Bet Championship – Brentford Community Stadium
(Image credit: Andrew Matthews)

Frustrated Steve Cooper said his Swansea side made Brentford look “second best” and were unlucky not to leave west London with all three points following a 1-1 draw.

Ivan Toney’s 10th of the season gave the Bees the lead just before the break but Andre Ayew clinched a share of the spoils with an equaliser 12 minutes from time.

Ghana international Ayew thought he had won it with the last touch but his header was ruled out for offside.

“It’s mixed feelings because we’ve not won the game, but we played so well,” Cooper said. “We were excellent and Brentford will look back on this as a point gained.

“I thought we were excellent and by miles the better team. We created all the clear-cut chances, so it’s not just about whether we won it at the end or not.

“I’m disappointed that we created chances, dominated the game and still didn’t win it.

“Our keeper has not had a save to make the whole game and there won’t be many teams that come here and can say that.

“Going behind spurred us on and we showed lots of character, created chances, defended really well, managed difficult refereeing decisions well as well and we acted with class on and off the pitch.”

Cooper refused to be drawn on any comparison between the sides who met in last season’s play-off semi-final, but added: “We’re progressing and getting better but we have a long way to go and this league demands the most from you whoever you’re playing.

“But with the attitude and application we showed we made them look comfortably second best.”

Brentford head coach Thomas Frank was left to rue his side’s inability to carve out openings.

“It was a game between two good teams who wanted to dominate,” he said. “Both had their spells in the game but there’s a reason they are second and we knew it would be a battle.

“We didn’t have a particularly high level, but they still didn’t have too many clear chances until their goal.

“I was disappointed that despite all our interventions in midfield we didn’t manage to create a chance in the second half or keep the ball high up the pitch.

“There were five or six times when the right pass would have opened it up.”

Frank was forced to name 17-year-old Fin Stevens on the bench just hours after he played 75 minutes in a reserve game and admitted keeping players fresh would be a major challenge as the season progresses.

“We are big and strong but this is unknown territory,” he added. “We are playing every third day until January and we have international players, so it’s going to be a positive challenge and we need to think differently.”

“Three games a week is absolutely mental and I hope the rule is changed so we can have five subs. That’s crucial. All the other nations have five subs but the country that gave football to the world doesn’t.”

He added: “The Championship is the most relentless and most physically challenging league in the world so who is making these decisions? It’s crazy.”