Cooper lauds Swansea players after they hit back to beat Charlton

Swansea boss Steve Cooper urged his players to keep their feet on the ground and praised their resilience after coming from behind to defeat Charlton 2-1 at The Valley to go top of the Sky Bet Championship.

Jonathan Leko’s snapshot gave Charlton an early lead but the Swans came back strongly and equalised through Yan Dhanda after 17 minutes.

Andre Ayew netted the winner midway in the second period, poking in after a flick-on by Joe Rodon from Matt Grimes’ corner.

It was the third time this season that the south Wales outfit had taken maximum points after going a goal down, and Cooper was delighted with the efforts of his charges.

“To reply as we did after Charlton’s early goal and give a performance like that is pleasing because we had to show all sides of our game,” the 39-year-old said.

“It’s great to score off a set-piece. In the latter stages of the game, there was a bit of an onslaught, but I can’t remember Freddie [Woodman] having to make a save, which shows you that we want to defend the box and deal with whatever’s coming up against us.”

The win means the visitors are now the hunted rather than the hunter, and Cooper was wary of getting drawn into the promotion conversation too early.

He said: “It’s dangerous to look much further than Stoke [their next game]. You see the results week in and week out in this league and you get surprises.”

Ayew ended a 20-match goal drought for the Swans with 25 minutes remaining and Cooper never doubted that the Ghanaian would rediscover his scoring touch.

“Andre’s playing well. I thought he was good against Reading at the weekend and I know he was disappointed not to score in that game and the one before against Bristol City. But I told him that the goal was coming and he just needed to get the first one.”

Cooper’s opposite number Lee Bowyer felt his side deserved something from the contest.

He said: “It was a good, even game. Both sides tried to play. We were the better side in the first 20 minutes, but we got a bit sloppy in the last 25 minutes of the first half. They equalised with a deflection which we should have done better with.

“In the second half, it was end-to-end with both teams trying to win the game. It was frustrating to lose the game on the set-piece, but I won’t criticise my players because they gave 100 per cent. I felt we deserved to take something from the game, but it wasn’t to be.”

The 42-year-old made four changes with Saturday’s game against Fulham at Craven Cottage in mind, as Adam Matthews, Jason Pearce, Sam Field and Erhun Oztumer came in and Chris Solly, Naby Sarr, Jonny Williams and Darren Pratley made way.

“I had to freshen it up the best I could. I went to watch Fulham last night. They have an extra 24 hours to recover and we have a 12.30 kick-off. Crazy. If Naby and Jonny had started today, they would never have been able to play on Saturday.”

The Addicks could have won a penalty shortly after Swansea’s winner when recently introduced substitute Chuks Aneke went down in a tangle in the box with visiting defending Rodon.

“I was a long way away from it,” admitted Bowyer.

“The referee has the hardest job in the world, but I felt a lot of the decisions didn’t go our way tonight. Hopefully, those decisions will even themselves out.”

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Football Paradise Staff Reporter

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