Swans boss Cooper relishing crunch promotion clash with Norwich City
- Credit: PA
Swansea boss Steve Cooper has backed his side to embrace the challenge of a crunch promotion clash against Norwich City.
The Canaries travel to the Liberty Stadium hoping to put further daylight between them and the Swans ahead of the run-in. Norwich are without a goal in their last three matches in all competitions and will face a side who have only conceded 15 goals all season.
Cooper believes his side is ready to welcome the Championship table-toppers to South Wales and is hopeful the Swans can rise to the challenge and cement their place in the mix for promotion.
"It’s got the makings of a good game," Cooper said in his pre-match press conference.
"They’re going well, we’re going well. They have a very clear way of playing. The manager, I've got a lot of respect for the job he’s done. We need to be ready for the game, but it couldn’t come any quicker. We back ourselves in every challenge that’s in front of us."
Despite Norwich's creative struggles in the last three matches, Cooper is expecting to face a quality opponent capable of causing problems, even without the suspended Emi Buendia.
"This season is unique in terms of schedule, pitches and everything that’s been thrown at every club. I really think you’ve got to treat every game the same. We respect the opponent 100%, but what we do is focus on ourselves. Norwich, regardless of what’s happened in the last week or so, they’re a good team.
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"We've got to embrace these challenges and look forward to them, and have no fear. It’s about really backing ourselves and trying to do the best of our ability. Regardless of when you play Norwich, it’s going to be a tough challenge.
"We've got to look forward to these big games. I just love the camaraderie within the lads. They’re a really professional bunch of players, but in the end, it’s a league environment, and these big games are the ones you want to be judged on."
Norwich got the better of Swansea at Carrow Road in November, narrowly winning that fixture 1-0 courtesy of a late Marco Stiepermann strike.
Daniel Farke is somebody Cooper has plenty of respect for, the Welsh coach worked with Canaries' sporting director Stuart Webber at Wrexham and Liverpool prior to becoming Swansea boss.
"I think it’s because he’s really good," Cooper said on Farke. "
I’m sure the people making the decisions at Norwich are aware of that. He has a clear way of working. You can look at some of the work around Norwich from the outside and admire how they go about their recruitment, succession planning and the way they play."