At home with.... Swansea: Steve Cooper on loan signings, youth development and his managerial ambitions
Sky Sports exclusive: Swansea boss Steve Cooper joined Sky Sports to discuss his youth development plans at the club, their loan signings, his managerial ambitions and much, much more
Last Updated: 07/05/20 11:33am
Steve Cooper discussed a wide range of topics as Sky Sports joined the Swansea boss at home.
David Craig and Andy Hinchcliffe spoke to Cooper about his youth development plans at Swansea, their loan signings, his managerial ambitions and much, much more.
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On his first season in the Championship...
"It has been everything I thought it would be and more. It's been an emotional roller coaster, and it's all based around results and performances. It's my first time experiencing the highs and the lows.
"I came into it with my eyes wide open, trying to understand the demands of what the job entails. You can't prepare for everything because you don't really know [what's going to happen], and that's how you gain experience. But I've tried to stick to the plan of how I said I'd go about it. We're a long way into the season now and continuing to build on some of the good things we have been doing."
On his development of young players...
"Seeing Swansea play at the Liberty Stadium was quite a familiar sight on Sky during that amazing journey in the Premier League, but a lot has changed in the last few years - including the ownership, the chairman, myself and a lot of the players. The team has been turned around.
"I wouldn't say we're starting again but there are a lot of parts of the club in its infancy. We have got a lot of young players and in a lot of ways we are quite a young club again.
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"I came in as Dan James, Jordan Ayew and Oli McBurnie all went, and there were a few others on Premier League contracts that had run out as well. It was very much a changing squad and a case of picking up from what Graham Potter had done as well. It is important to mention that because he blooded some young players as well.
"We haven't got the finances to sign the finished article that is going to make a difference in the Championship straight away. We've got to work with players and develop them to try and take them to the next level on the way. We've got to write our own chapter of Swansea's next era, and we believe in what we're doing."
On the impact of his loan signings...
"We have been open and honest with how we want to go about our work, whether it's with someone like Rhian Brewster from Liverpool or Ben Cabango from our own academy, our work doesn't change.
"We are very up front with how we work and our intentions and style of play, and how we believe we can make a difference with every player. If we get it right we think it will benefit everyone, especially the club.
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"There's no secret sauce or something we're doing that a lot of other clubs won't be doing. But we're not making it up as we go along, we're sticking to a plan and with that it is easier to explain to loan managers or other first-team managers, and that has helped us get players in over the line.
"A lot has been said about the loan players we've brought in, but we've also got some good young players ourselves. We've given some debuts and we're really proud of that. The most important part of an academy is the exit into the first team at the end of it, and we've been able to give players that opportunity."
On his managerial ambitions...
"I'm very cautious when talking about myself, because we're trying to implement a culture of belonging and togetherness at the club. But as individuals we need to have our ambitions as well of being the best that we can be. That is what is brilliant about the Championship. There is another level to get to, and we're all striving for it.
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"I'm very ambitious, but in every job I've worked for I'm committed to that cause. Whether it was a previous club or the national team and the FA. It's no different here with Swansea, and I'm very grateful for the opportunity they have given me.
"I have no playing career of note behind me, and it would have been easy to overlook someone like me. But they believed in what I said I was trying to do, and I'm committed to paying back that faith."