Swansea City boss Steve Cooper reveals the 'obvious areas' he set out to exploit at Elland Road after win over Leeds United

In his preparations for today's 1-0 win over Leeds United, Steve Cooper felt there were areas of the Elland Road pitch his Swansea City side could exploit.

Saturday, 31st August 2019, 6:31 pm
Steve Cooper and his side 'relished' the final whistle and the 'perfect' away result (Pic: Getty)

Speaking after the game, the Swans head coach said it was the 'perfect result' for his men, who now sit top of the Championship table with 16 points from 18.

Leeds' first league loss of the season saw them drop from first to third in the table, three points behind today's visitors.

"It's the perfect result, a clean sheet away from home and scoring one," said Cooper.

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"We had to work hard for it, there's no doubt about it.

"I liked us defensively - anyone that comes here knows they are going to have moments where they are going to have to defend properly and we did that.

"Any game away from home in this league is a test but it's all about what we do. There are some areas where we would definitely like to improve on but there are some areas that went well as well.

"I said before the game that these are games that we've got to be excited about. You can't come here and fear, you can't come here and hide. You've got to come and enjoy it and we did that."

Cooper's side had seven shots to Leeds' 21 and just 38 per cent of the possession.

But he insisted they'd set out to take three points from the fixture and revealed his plan to deal with Leeds' man-marking system.

"We came here to win, there are obvious areas to exploit against Leeds, although we didn't do it quite as well with the ball first half, second half I thought we did look quite dangerous," he said.

"We felt there were spaces (with) their clear way of playing, a good way of playing, but we felt there were certain parts of the pitch around the deep midfield where we could get into pockets and turn and hit them on fast attacks.

"That was one.

"We generally felt like if we play the way we want to play in every game we could create chances through the middle and down the sides.

"I felt that was possible today.

"With their man to man marking in midfield, we picked a team we felt could beat a player with a one v one and it ended up being our centre-back Mike Van der Hoorn more than anyone in the first half.

"But when we did do that, particularly second half, you could see that we looked a dangerous outfit."

Cooper and his team celebrated wildly when their 90th minute winner went in and again at full-time.

But he refused to get carried away about the Swans' place at the top of the Championship table.

"Why not? Why not enjoy the moment? We've worked hard. We came here to win, so when you get the objective won, be pleased about it.

"We're really happy getting over the line and doing what we came here to do.

"I don't think many teams will come here and intend to play the way we did today, even though there were times I felt we could be a bit better with the ball.

"It's a good result, there's no doubt about that, but I felt the same after QPR and after Derby.

"Six games, it's too early for any mention of that (the table).

"We're pleased with how we're doing, the progression of the team, training and games, we're growing.

"That'll be our focus throughout the season.

"It's a good return. There's 40 games left."