Steve Cooper is a World Cup winning manager but despite that success with England he says he has never had as much pride in the job he is doing as he is getting from his time at Swansea.
Cooper will lead the Swans into a second successive play off campaign on Monday evening at Barnsley looking to go at least one step further than last season when we lost over two legs to Brentford.
A 4th place finish followed last year’s last day drama that saw us finish 6th and Cooper’s 2020/21 Swans equalled the points tally achieved by Brendan Rodgers’ promotion winners 10 years ago to give us the joint highest points tally we have achieved at this level.
It is no wonder when you consider that why Cooper has so much pride, achieving that off the back of leading the team through a global pandemic where we have played for 15 months behind closed doors having not seen fans at the Liberty since March 7th last year.
Cooper’s belief in himself has never wavered even during a period not that long ago where we lost four games on the bounce which put a play off place in some jeopardy.
He said: “There are always highs and lows in management, but I have never been prouder in a job.
“I have felt that from day one and that has only increased. I know we have had some good returns from getting into the play-offs but it has not been hunky-dory all the way. We lost four on the bounce not so long ago.
“But then you realise how proud you are to work for a club, when you know how that makes you feel and it does hurt.
“But you are so motivated and determined to get through the other side of it, it makes your belonging at the club a real special one. From day one this club has given me an amazing opportunity and I have tried to really, really commit to the job, give my best.
“I said to myself from day one whenever it ends it won’t be for the lack of trying and a lack of determination and a lack of confidence. I really believe in what I do, I really believe in the players, I really believe in how myself and the staff work with them.
“Where that ends up taking us? We are still on that journey, we have made some good progress and good strides over the two years, but we are getting to a point now where we can really make a difference and that’s where our focus is.
“Guiding the club through a pandemic has been important to me, because I have really wanted to commit to the community as much as we can.
“That has been difficult at times because we have not been able to have any contact, but I’ve been making a lot of phone calls and zoom calls and things like that to fans.
“Some people who have been struggling have been mutually beneficial to me, because I have got a lot out of it as well.
“So the word I keep using is ‘pride’, because I felt that a lot from day one. And if we can use that pride and that motivation and determination to have a really good next couple of weeks, then it will be a special moment for sure.”