Swansea City boss thrilled as new ‘weapon’ emerges in Barnsley victory
Swansea City head coach Steve Cooper was a happy man following his side’s victory over Barnsley, not least with a new attacking weapon in their arsenal.
The promotion-chasing Swans were far from their best in a 2-0 win at Oakwell on Saturday night, but managed to grind out an eventually comfortable victory.
Ben Cabango headed them in front before Jamal Lowe continued his hot streak with a seventh goal in as many matches soon after the restart.
It was extremely scrappy first half in particular, but Swansea dealt with everything thrown their way and even claimed the lead in stoppage time with their only shot on target.
With time in the red, Connor Roberts launched a throw into the middle of the Barnsley penalty box, where Cabango rose highest among a pack of players to glance a header into the far corner.
It was a goal about as far removed from the perception of Swansea as one could possibly imagine, as Cooper was the first to acknowledge.
In his post-match press conference, he expressed his delight at the efforts of Roberts with his long throws in particular, but also revealed that they weren’t worked on in training.
“I wouldn’t say we do,” he told The72. “That must be the first ever long throw and headed goal in Swansea’s history!
“Tonight they were a real threat because of how they game went and if that what it took, that’s what it took. We don’t work on it particularly on the training ground but if Connor wants to throw it 50 yards then (he can) crack on.”
The relish that Cooper took from scoring any kind of goal reflected the difficult contest that Swansea found themselves in on a cold January night in Barnsley.
Snow through the week left the pitch in less-than-ideal condition too, and combined with the home side’s style of play it added up to a game in which Swansea never really found their rhythm.
However, the sides likely to contend for automatic promotion in the Championship tend to find a way on such nights, and that is exactly what Cooper’s men did to secure a result which puts them four points clear of Bournemouth in third.
The boss said: “The pitch was difficult, it was windy conditions were tonight, the way Barnsley play, they try and put you on the backfoot, they’re direct. You’ve got to deal with that.
“We showed a different side today and that’s fair play to the lads, because we actually did it very well. It wasn’t a pretty affair but we did it.”