Swansea City used every single one, and more, of the 4140 minutes in the Sky Bet Championship season to book their spot in the Play-Off shootout.
Wayne Routledge's 91st minute goal against Reading on Wednesday elevated The Swans above Nottingham Forest and into sixth on goals scored. It was the first time they had been in the top six since January following an indifferent run of form through 2020.
Swansea started the season well under Steve Cooper spending most of August and September in the top two, only dipping out of the top six in December.
However, they won just three times pre-lockdown in 2020 to drop to 11th when the season was paused. The break seemed to do Cooper's young squad the world of good as they returned to win five of their last nine and secure that sixth spot.
One of the stars of Cooper's Under-17 World Cup winning side, on-loan Liverpool striker Rhian Brewster (pictured above), has four goals in his last six for Swansea.
Steve Cooper spent four years playing in Wales before retiring at 23 to become Wrexham's Head of Youth. A UEFA Pro Licence holder at 26, Cooper moved to Liverpool in 2008 and became Academy Manager in 2011. During his time at Melwood he worked with the likes of Raheem Sterling and Trent Alexander-Arnold.
He moved to the FA in 2013 as a youth coach educator and coached the England Under-16s in 2014, before making the step up to under-17 level the following year. He led the Young Lions to the final of the 2017 European Championship, where they lost to Spain on penalties, but they gained revenge later in the year by coming from 2-0 down to beat the same opponents 5-2 in the World Cup final. With Graeme Potter heading to Brighton last summer, Cooper was handed his first club managerial role after six years with the FA.
Once again Thomas has a fully fit squad to choose from this evening in South Wales.
For Swansea, Kyle Naughton serves the final game of his three match ban while goalkeeper Freddie Woodman and midfielder George Byers were both ruled out by Cooper yesterday. Mike Van Der Hoorn and Wayne Routledge are also doubts after coming off on Wednesday night.
🆚 Wales Online's Ian Mitchelmore previews tonight's game
⚖ Keith Stroud will be the man in charge tonight
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