Cooper praises style of players after Swansea’s big win over Birmingham

Striker Borja Baston is the top scorer in the Sky Bet Championship with five goals.

By Press Association Published: 25 August 2019 - 2.32pm

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Steve Cooper praised the style of his Swansea side after a 3-0 win over Birmingham took them level on points with Sky Bet Championship leaders Leeds.

Swansea have taken 13 points from five games to make their best start to a season for 41 years, with Leeds – who they meet at Elland Road on Saturday – only top by virtue of goal difference.

Kyle Naughton, Bersant Celina and Borja Baston – who celebrated his 27th birthday by becoming the division’s top scorer with his fifth goal of the season – were on target in the second half as Swansea cruised to victory over toothless Birmingham.

“It’s obviously a good return in points and we’re pleased about that,” said Cooper, the former England Under-17 World Cup-winning boss who has made an impressive start to his senior management career.

“But what’s more important is we know why we’re getting points with our style of play both on and off the ball.

“We have the ability to dig deep and show resilience, whether it’s about scoring goals or defending the box.

“It hasn’t been straightforward that’s for sure, and it will continue to be that way.”

Cooper chose not to focus on next weekend’s top-of-the-table clash in Yorkshire, preferring instead to highlight the Carabao Cup home tie with Cambridge on Wednesday.

But the 39-year-old Welshman believes Swansea have set the standard for the rest of their season.

“In terms of the 90 minutes, I think that was our best performance of the season,” Cooper said.

“We believe if we get it right, and I say it every week, I believe we can dominate and play what’s in front of us.

“That’s hard and it won’t always be that case, but that’s going to be our plan.

“That’s what we’ll stick to and hopefully deliver when the moment comes.

“Every game we’ve played so far, I believed we should win and that will continue, so I’m not surprised we’ve won certain games.”

Birmingham had taken seven points from their opening four games and were fresh from a 2-0 midweek home win over Barnsley.

Boss Pep Clotet, the former Swansea assistant manager, said he had felt comfortable in the opening 45 minutes, saying: “I never feared for the result in the first half.

“We came to half-time very solid at the back. We needed to manage the game in the second half when it opened up and Swansea came forward more.

“But we lost a lot of organisation in the second half.

“When you play a top side with a lot of confidence at home everything needs to be right.”