Jake Cooper describes signing his new long-term Millwall contract as “great to finally get done”, and commends the management staff at The Den who have helped him during his Lions career so far.
The towering centre-half has put pen-to-paper on the deal following a campaign in which he has played every minute of every Sky Bet Championship game so far, claiming an impressive three League goals and six assists from the back.
“The discussions have obviously been ongoing for a while now, so it’s great to finally get it done and commit my future to Millwall,” Cooper says.
“The manager and the coaching staff have looked after me really well since joining the club, and I’m delighted to get the chance to carry on working with them and the great squad we’ve got here, to push onto bigger and better things.
“As soon as there were contract talks, I wanted to come to an agreement with the club. We’re fortunate to have sorted it out now, and I’m obviously thrilled to sign long-term here.”
The 23-year-old feels his consistency has improved since arriving at The Den, and claims “it can just take one win” to build a run of momentum.
“I feel I’m more consistent. Last year was really good and we have been trying to carry it into this season.
“Obviously we’ve had a bit of a tough run where games haven’t gone how we’ve wanted them to, but a lot of our performances have been good and we’ve certainly shown a lot of teams that we’re better than the League right now suggests.
“There’s plenty of belief and confidence in the group, and we’ve just got to back that up with a result. Like we showed last year, it can just take one win on the road or even a good win at home for things to completely change.”
Cooper insists previous results this season will not affect upcoming displays for Neil Harris’ side, and highlights the Christmas schedule as a big opportunity to move further clear of the drop zone.
“We won’t let ourselves get disheartened by some of the results we’ve had before – we just have to learn and then take what we’ve learnt into forthcoming games for the rest of the season.
“Christmas is massive for us now. We have some big games coming up at The Den and some tough places to travel away to, but we have to maximise the Christmas period and take as much as possible from it. We know we’ve got a fit squad and that we can push ourselves up the League.”
Weekend opponents Preston North End have risen to 15th in the table after improving on a slow start to the season, and Cooper knows that whilst it will be a challenging encounter, the team are perfectly capable of taking points home from Deepdale.
“Preston will be a difficult place to go as they are a top side. They struggled at the start of the season, but they got themselves on a run so it will certainly be tough.
“But we believe we can go up there and get something which will help us get away from this group towards the bottom of the League.”