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Steve Cooper hails Jamal Lowe’s resilience as Swansea fight back to beat Watford

Swansea City v Watford – Sky Bet Championship – Liberty Stadium
(Image credit: Simon Galloway)

Steve Cooper praised Jamal Lowe’s resilience as the converted centre-forward kept Swansea on the promotion march.

Lowe scored twice as Swansea fought back to beat Sky Bet Championship promotion rivals Watford 2-1 at the Liberty Stadium.

The former Portsmouth and Wigan winger scored only twice in his first 18 games for Swansea after being moved into a central role.

But the 26-year-old now has six goals in as many games, and his match-winning Liberty Stadium show was his second brace in that sequence with a derby double in a 2-0 win at Cardiff last month.

“He wasn’t under pressure from me or the players,” Swansea head coach Cooper said of Lowe’s lack of goals at the start of the campaign.

“In terms of performance levels I think he’s been excellent all season, but what a sign of resilience to keep going.

“The plan is to keep going, that’s the focus. He’s making good progress and we’ve asked him to do things which have been different for him in the past.

“He’s been a winger and we’ve brought him in with a certain idea to build him.

“He’s still building to what we want him to be, but he’ll never fail through a lack of trying.”

Lowe’s scoring blitz in the last month has taken the pressure off Swansea talisman Andre Ayew.

The Ghana striker has also scored eight goals and Cooper is delighted to see a twin scoring threat up top.

“We’ve relied on Andre to get us a goal when we’re not playing well,” Cooper said after Swansea had hurdled Brentford to sit second in the Championship.

“We’re playing with two number nines, and for the other one to get goals as well is really important.

“Jamal will get the headlines, but everyone was excellent. It was the right result and the consequence of a brilliant performance.

“I thought we were by far the superior team. We gave up a bit of territory late on, but that happens when it’s only a one-goal margin.

“We showed great character and resilience after going 1-0 down against the run of play, to not let it faze us and carry on as we were.”

Swansea were held to a goalless draw by Reading on Wednesday but have won five of their last eight games to keep the pressure on league leaders Norwich.

Cooper said: “We were just as good against Reading and it was just one of them. We could still be playing and it would be 0-0.

“This felt a little bit like unfinished business from the other night because we knew we played well.”

Watford had won their opening game against Norwich under new manager Xisco Munoz.

The Spaniard was on course for a second victory when Tom Cleverley drove the Hornets ahead after 20 minutes from outside the box.

But Xisco was encouraged by Watford’s “personality and passion” despite seeing his side drop to sixth spot, six points adrift of Swansea.

He said: “I am happy with the guys because they give the maximum. We are growing up day by day. This is our way. The team had personality and passion, we had good chances in their penalty box.

“So there are good things, which we need to continue. This is the most important. We know our mistakes, that is our job.

“Sometimes in football when you lose you have this moment. I like the reaction of the guys when we concede the second goal.”

Watford occupy the final play-off spot, but their next game is an FA Cup third-round tie against Manchester United at Old Trafford.

“Everybody in football knows we have a good team,” Xisco said. “But it’s to be continued.

“We will continue work and prepare for the next game. I like the reaction of the dressing room when everyone is sad from this situation.

“We have played good teams and the Championship is strong, they are good players and it is difficult. But we are Watford and we have very good players in our team.”