Swansea manager Steve Cooper revealed how Freddie Woodman got full marks for doing his homework after his penalty save earned a point at Derby.
The on-loan Newcastle goalkeeper’s research into Martyn Waghorn’s penalty taking technique paid off when he went the right way to deny the Rams striker four minutes before half-time in the goalless draw.
Jayden Bogle’s surge into the box ended with him upended by Jake Bidwell but Waghorn’s low spot-kick was pushed behind by Woodman as he dived full length to his left.
It was a good save and he made two more important stops in the second half, diving to his right to push away a shot from Florian Jozefzoon and blocking the follow-up by Scott Malone.
Cooper said: “Waghorn has gone that way four out of the last five and we just felt that being the first game at home he would do what he thinks he’s good at.
“It wasn’t a bad penalty, it was a really good save but fair play to Freddie, he’s done his analysis and it’s worked for us, we expected him to save the penalty once it went that way.
“There’s analysis going on into every aspect, most clubs are pretty similar, but we believe in what we are doing off the pitch to support the players in giving them the best opportunity to perform and I guess that was an important detail in the end today.
“There’s no better thing for the goalkeeper to save the penalty and I’m pleased for Freddie, he got an amazing reception from the fans after the game.”
Cooper’s only disappointment was that Woodman’s save did not set up a victory.
Swansea got into promising positions without making them count and the closest they came was a diving header from Mike Van der Hoorn which flashed just wide.
The manager continued: “We expected to win the game and in the game plan there were opportunities to do that.
“So we are disappointed we didn’t create enough chances because we got into good positions – but the final ball let us down too many times.”
Derby manager Phillip Cocu admitted it was a disappointing result and said: “The best opportunity we had was the penalty.
“It was a good save but it was a moment for us, an important one in the game, and if we get the goal it would lift us and then probably we would play better, more confident at a higher tempo.
“I think nowadays with all the information you have from games you know the penalty taker and Waggy also knows but he had the confidence to take it in the angle he shot so good save, it’s part of football.
“Some moments in the first half, our tempo was probably a bit too low so Swansea could reorganise and it was difficult to create a good chance on goal.
“In the second half, it was the other way round. Sometimes the tempo was maybe too high and we lost possession when it was not necessary and you get an open game where it goes up and down.
“But in the last 25 minutes we really locked them up, they couldn’t get out – but we couldn’t score the goal.”
Get the best features, fun and footballing frolics straight to your inbox every week.
Thank you for signing up to Four Four Two. You will receive a verification email shortly.
There was a problem. Please refresh the page and try again.