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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Andre Ayew thrives on being a big player

Swansea City Vice captain, Andre Dede AyewSwansea City Vice captain, Andre Dede Ayew

Swansea City manager Steve Cooper has commended Andre Ayew’s sacrifice in helping the club to a 2-2 draw with Reading in the Championship on Sunday.

With his side, 1-0 down in the matchday 43 fixture, the Ghana star, half-fit owing to a hamstring injury picked up two matchdays earlier, was thrown into the fray in the 64th minute as the Jack Army chased an equalizer.

Three minutes later, his delightful backheel pass allowed Jay Fulton to charge into the opposition box in what ultimately led to Jamal Lowe’s equalizer before he registered a goal of his own seven minutes prior to full-time.

“Andre is a really good player and person, he thrives on being the big player and we are very happy to have him,” Cooper said of Ayew, who completely sat out Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Queens Park Rangers.

“The team comes first, not himself, and you could see that today. It would have been great if we didn’t need him, as it would have meant we were comfortable in the game.

“But we did, he was medically cleared to play 30 minutes, and it ended up being a good move thanks to the good work from Andre and the medical team. It helped get the result we wanted.”

Sunday’s point has secured Swansea a place in the promotion play-offs, moving the club a step closer to a return to the elite division following their relegation in 2018.

“We did that and scored two good goals and I felt we were the more threatening team. We knew it would be crazy at the end as they had to win, they had four or five attacking players on the pitch, and you just wanted to make sure we got that point,” Cooper added.

“We wanted to win, but if there is ever a game to accept a draw, then this is maybe the one. We are happy to be in there in the playoffs, we are satisfied, but we want more than we had last season.

“This club has had big moments, it has been in the Premier League, it has won a major honour and played in Europe, so I don’t want our ambition as a club to be that getting in the playoffs is an achievement.”

Ayew’s strike broke his 15-goal record attained last season. The Ghana captain is the club’s current top scorer so far this season.

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