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Sports News Tue, 18 May 2021

Swansea coach praises ‘difference maker’ Ayew after sublime goal against Barnsley

Swansea City coach Steve Cooper is full of praise for Andre Ayew after the Ghanaian scored a peach of a goal to hand them a slim advantage in the Championship play-off.

The Ghanaian forward netted a curler in the 39th minute to ensure that the Swans returned to Wales with their noses in front ahead of the second leg.

Speaking in a post-game presser, Steve Cooper praised Andre Ayew for showing up for the team as he has been doing all season.

He commended the Ghanaian for taking responsibility and leading the team’s charge for an EPL return.

“Andre has then made the difference and we know he can do that. We’ve seen it plenty of times,” he said.

He also reserved special praise for Swansea’s defence line, saying “Freddie made some good saves, Marc and Ben – two 20-year-olds – were excellent at the back and have a great role model in Ryan Bennett”.

Overall, Steve Cooper was impressed with the performance of his players and urged them to head into next week’s match with the same mentality.

He is hopeful that they will improve in the second leg and book qualification to the final round of the playoffs.

“It was just a good effort from the boys, it was not a typical Swansea game but you have to respect that and you have to deal with it.

“I am pleased with the effort tonight. We knew what the game would be, we felt it would go a certain way and away from home you have to respect that and stand up to it and match it. I thought we did that. We got a real moment of excellence with Andre’s goal and we managed to continue to be strong defensively. We could have shown a bit more quality on the ball at times, but I get it, the fans were back in tonight and there was a good atmosphere.

“Barnsley are a difficult team to play against with the way they play and there is that psychological thing where you are trying to protect the lead a little bit. We did that, there were not many chances in the game and it was a night where you had to be prepared to fight for everything,” he concluded.

The winner of Swansea and Barnsley will face the winner of Brentford versus Bournemouth in the final round for a place in next season’s Premier League.

Andre Ayew has been productive for Swansea scoring 17 goals in 44 matches, the highest for any Swansea player this season.
Source: www.ghanaweb.com