Steve Cooper: Potential Crystal Palace job interest will not distract from Swansea play-off push

Steve Cooper is seen as one of the contenders for the Crystal Palace job; Cooper: "It's not a week for any individual topics or conversations. This week is just about the second leg in the play-offs for Swansea City"

Steve Cooper (PA)
Image: Steve Cooper has twice steered Swansea to the Sky Bet Championship play-offs

Steve Cooper says Crystal Palace's interest in considering him for their soon-to-be-vacant managerial role will not distract from Swansea's play-off push as they aim to reach the Premier League.

Palace announced this week Roy Hodgson will be leaving the club after four years at Selhurst Park, and Cooper is among the candidates for the position, following his impressive work at Swansea.

The 41-year-old Welshman has twice steered Swansea to the Sky Bet Championship play-offs, with his side defending a 1-0 semi-final lead against Barnsley at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Addressing the Palace speculation, Cooper said: "It's not a week for any individual topics or conversations.

"This week is just about the second leg in the play-offs for Swansea City and doing everything we can to get the right outcome.

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Ahead of his final home match as Crystal Palace manager, Roy Hodgson is given a guard of honour by both the Crystal Palace and Arsenal teams

"I'm in that bubble like everyone else at the moment and just focusing on that.

"Nothing will distract me or anybody else, because this week is too important.

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"We're motivated, we're excited, all of those things you feel in big games. Nothing else is on our mind and I won't let anything get in anyone else's mind in our group.

"It's about recovery, preparation and being as ready as we can for the next game. If you do that, then nothing else creeps in."

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Swansea beat Brentford 1-0 in their play-off semi-final first leg last season, only to be knocked out after a 3-1 defeat in west London.

This time, Swansea are at home in the return game, Andre Ayew's well-taken goal on Monday having secured a narrow advantage against Barnsley.

"Some of it's different, some of it's the same," Cooper said, reflecting on the play-off semi-finals Swansea have played under his charge.

"We're home this time and there's fans in the stadium now, but it still is the same lead.

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Highlights of the Sky Bet Championship play-off semi-final match between Barnsley and Swansea

"We've got to really focus on what it takes to win the match and that's keeping clean sheets and trying to score goals. That's not out of the norm for us.

"Our mentality is that we've still got it all to do. We're not looking for pats on the back.

"I'm seeing a really focused group of players, who are very committed to trying to get the job done.

"It's very much tunnel vision and honing in on what it takes to win on Saturday.

"It doesn't suit our style or identity to play for a draw. Our idea going into games is to try and control the game with and without the ball."

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