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Steve Cooper says togetherness is the key after Swansea take derby honours

Cardiff City v Swansea City – Sky Bet Championship – Cardiff City Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Steve Cooper admitted Swansea chose a good day to be near their best after winning 2-0 at Cardiff to claim a first south Wales derby away success for 10 years.

Jamal Lowe scored twice, once in each half, to reward a dominant Swansea show that underlined their status as Sky Bet Championship promotion contenders.

Cardiff caused them few problems in defence and had midfielder Joe Ralls sent off midway through the second period with the score at 1-0.

“We focused on two things: how important the game is because it’s a massive deal down here and playing the game,” said Swansea head coach Cooper, who addressed his players and coaching staff in a post-match huddle on the Cardiff City Stadium pitch.

“We weren’t far off our best and we picked a good day to be like that.

“The performance was right up there because there was so much importance on the game. We played with such clear heads and a clear style, which is where we want to be.

“The result is the most important thing, but to think we’ve done it in the way we’ve done it is what I want us to be.

“That’s why I wanted to get everybody together on the pitch at the end of the game, to show the togetherness in the group while knowing it’s for the supporters as well.”

Former Portsmouth forward Lowe has come in for criticism since his £800,000 summer move from Wigan.

Lowe had only scored twice before his derby double and had gone 10 games without scoring prior to putting Cardiff to the sword.

Cooper said: “He’s been brilliant, we don’t have any doubts with Jamal.

“Someone asked questions about him the other week, but he’s been a great addition to the team.

“All he wants to do is work hard. He’s made us a better team this year and he’s done it here by scoring a couple of goals.”

Cardiff had come into the game on a high with four consecutive wins propelling them into the top half of the Championship.

The Bluebirds were maybe unfortunate that Ryan Bennett, who had been booked for a cynical challenge on Mark Harris, did not see red after 20 minutes for fouling Kieffer Moore.

But Moore stayed on his feet and referee Jon Brooks took no action against the Swansea defender.

“I bumped into the ref and he just explained the rule to me,” Cardiff manager Neil Harris said.

“He played advantage so he couldn’t give a yellow card. Which I didn’t really understand.

“But we weren’t good enough, we didn’t cause enough problems for Swansea.

“My record as a player and manager in derbies is extremely good and I hate this feeling. I am gutted for the fan base that need some cheer at the minute and we’ve not given it to them.

“So a huge apology to our Bluebirds at the moment.”