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Cooper stresses importance of maintaining standards

Defender speaks ahead of Villa visit...

5 October 2018

Jake Cooper has stated that Wednesday's comeback at Nottingham Forest was "massive" - but also underlined the need to continue that form this Saturday as Aston Villa visit The Den (kick-off 3pm).

The Lions play their final game before the second international break of the campaign against a Villa side under the caretaker management of Kevin MacDonald after the sacking of Steve Bruce earlier this week and are also looking for a second League win of the campaign.

Speaking on the Forest fightback, which took place courtesy of strikes from Shaun Williams and Lee Gregory - Cooper told that the manner of the draw could be the spark needed to kickstart Millwall's season.

"It was massive. Obviously we were disappointed to concede two goals - although they were good goals - but we had to show some fight and it was nice for us to be on the other side of a late comeback," he said.

"Hopefully that can give us some confidence going into Saturday and the rest of the season. It was massive for the group.

"There's been a much better feeling since Wednesday night. Last season's comeback against Leeds (in which The Lions won a topsy-turvy encounter 4-3) really sparked something big in our season, so sometimes it only takes a thing like that to turn our fortunes around.

"Our performances haven't been too bad. There's been certain parts of games where we've played well and certain parts where we've let ourselves down a bit. It was about bringing it all together for a full 90 minutes and I think we did that on Wednesday."

The Lions' next opponents Aston Villa are another example of the spending power and size and stature of clubs currently plying their trade in the Sky Bet Championship, and Cooper - an ever-present in the League so far in 2018/19, scoring two goals - explained how the club will be looking to repeat the feat they achieved last year, plus how Millwall must forget about the managerial situation of the visitors and instead focus on their own game.

"We're excited - it's always good when a big club like Aston Villa come to The Den. It'll be a good game. I know it was the last game of the season last year and there wasn't much to play for, but we gave them a good game and beat them. That'll be something we're looking to repeat.

"We'll go through the clips as a team and look at their strengths and weaknesses - hopefully there's something we can pick out. They have top quality players for this League and ones that you have to be right on your game to stop.

"I've been at clubs where there's been a change of manager - sometimes it works out well for players, sometimes it doesn't. We just have to focus on ourselves and make sure we're up to our standards and carry on from Wednesday night, because we don't want to drop back to how we have been."

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