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Steve Cooper sings praises of Swansea wing-back Connor Roberts

Swansea City v Rotherham United – Sky Bet Championship – Liberty Stadium
(Image credit: Nick Potts)

Swansea manager Steve Cooper hailed the performance of Connor Roberts after his side moved back into the Sky Bet Championship promotion race with a 2-0 victory over Luton.

The Wales wing-back opened the scoring with a deflected strike in the second minute before Andre Ayew’s late goal ensured the Welsh side moved to within two points of leaders Norwich.

Cooper was pleased with the way Roberts spearheaded the Swans’ recovery after their midweek defeat at Middlesbrough.

“He’s playing really well, he was as frustrated as anybody after Middlesbrough and he was determined to get it right, and he did that,” said Cooper.

“He was very sound defensively which is really important with how I want my wing-backs to play and then he was a real threat going forward.

“He scored and got in the box a few times and played some nice combinations, so I’m really pleased with Connor.

“To show the character, resilience and to keep a clean sheet, after that week and with a little bit of a setback against Middlesbrough in how we played, it’s a really good sign of the mentality in the dressing room.

“I’m very pleased with the result and large parts of the performance.

“It wasn’t easy because I don’t think any game is going to be in this schedule. The reality is we were in Nottingham on Sunday, Middlesbrough on Wednesday and then the best part of 48 hours, you’re playing again. It’s tough.”

Despite watching defender Matty Pearson pick up two yellow cards, for a late challenge on Ayew and an overhead kick that connected with the head of Marc Guehi, Luton could have taken at least a point from the Liberty Stadium.

Luke Berry missed an open goal from six yards out before Glen Rea saw Ayew clear his header off the goal line, and manager Nathan Jones was proud of their performance.

“To sum it up we had more possession, we pressed them with a better intensity and had much, much better chances than Swansea,” said Jones. “It took a deflected goal and a sending off for them, we were the better side today.

“I’m proud of the performance but the Championship can be cruel sometimes. Swansea are a good side and showed why they haven’t lost here. On the balance of all probability, we should have scored at least once today and we didn’t.

“But the level of performance gives me great heart that we can come to a good side and cause them problems. But for an ounce of composure we would have come away with something.

“The demands on players at the moment is crazy and unprecedented. You have to play every three days and it’s unfair on us because we are at our absolute limits and we haven’t got an Andre Ayew who’s worth so many million.”