Swansea City boss Steve Cooper insists 'no celebration until promotion'

By Dafydd PritchardBBC Sport Wales
Swansea have taken 14 points from their last seven games of the season to claim a play-off place
Swansea have taken 14 points from their last seven games of the season to claim a play-off place

Steve Cooper insists Swansea City will not celebrate their remarkable feat of reaching the Championship play-offs unless it leads to promotion.

The Swans confounded the odds to finish sixth as they beat Reading 4-1 and Nottingham Forest lost 4-1 to Stoke on a staggering final night of the season.

Swansea will now face Brentford, who finished third, in the play-offs.

"It's a small pat on the back and 'well done' but there's a bigger prize to go for," said head coach Cooper.

"I'm sorry if that sounds diplomatic. We're so happy and I'm probably coming across a bit boring, but we can't take our eye off the ball.

"We've got two, possibly three, matches to go. The Championship is relentless.

"We're in a good place, we'll stick to how we work, and we'll be ready."

Swansea had started Wednesday evening in seventh place, needing to beat Reading and hope that either sixth-placed Cardiff City would lose at home to bottom side Hull or that Nottingham Forest, who were fifth, would be beaten by Stoke, with a five-goal turnaround in goal difference in the Swans' favour.

Cardiff eased past Hull 3-0 but, fortunately for Cooper's men, Forest imploded at home to Stoke.

Swansea still had to complete a remarkable turnaround themselves and, despite only drawing 1-1 against Reading's 10 men at half-time, they found late inspiration to score twice in the last five minutes to seal a famous win.

Swansea players and staff celebrate after claiming a play-off place in remarkable fashion
Swansea players and staff celebrate after claiming a play-off place in remarkable fashion

Naturally, the celebrations were jubilant at the final whistle but Cooper said it was not long before players and staff had their feet back on the ground and were turning their attention to Sunday's play-off first leg at home to Brentford.

"There was a bit of a fizz-up on the pitch as soon as we knew we'd won, but everyone's calm now and refocused," said Cooper.

"The milestone we've got over is a pat on the back but it's not a time for congratulations.

"We're down already. We're back. When you've got people like Wayne Routledge and Nathan Dyer in the dressing room, that doesn't take long.

"Of course we've had a moment in the dressing room. Why shouldn't we?

"But at the same time, there's the quick realisation that we're back in training tomorrow and we've got another two games, possibly three, to prepare for."

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