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Cooper talks Villa, Stoke and League survival battle

Defender outlines defensive discipline and Den support

26 April 2019

Jake Cooper is confident Millwall can get the job done in Saturday’s Sky Bet Championship meeting with Stoke City, as long as the defensive side of the team’s game is disciplined and the supporters are behind Neil Harris’ men to move a huge step towards consolidating League safety.

The Lions currently sit 21st in The Championship, with three more points and a superior goal difference to Rotherham United, along with a game in hand to be played against Bristol City next Tuesday night.

The fight for survival is far from over, however, with work still to do for The Lions.

“The feeling is good,” Cooper told millwallfc.co.uk.

“We’d had a couple of good results before the Bank Holiday weekend, and went into the Villa game with confidence, coming up against a very good side.

“We were obviously disappointed to come away without anything, but we were pleased with some aspects of our performance. We’ll be looking to take that into this Saturday against Stoke, and try to get three points then.”

Cooper discusses the importance of a stern defensive display against a talented Potters squad, and credits the impact of Dave Martin since the goalkeeper’s breakthrough into the team.

“I think we’ve definitely picked up our performance levels defensively over the course of the season.

“We have linked up better as a back line, and you saw with Dave Martin’s display at Villa on Monday how vital he is for us as well.

“It’s great when we have the players performing, and we need to keep those levels for the remaining games this season.”

The defender denies that other results will affect the mindset of the camp, with The Lions firmly concentrated on looking after number one.

“We’re confident that we can go and get the three points on Saturday that will push us closer to our target for the season.

“We’ll definitely be focusing on ourselves first and foremost. That’s how we like to be and we’ve made sure to stay that way over the last few weeks.

“We’re in a good position to build on for the last games of the season, to finish the job.”

Cooper finally states how the support of the crowd and the players’ friends and relatives is vital to helping push the team over the line.

“It’s massive to get a good crowd at The Den for our last remaining home games.

“It’s key for us, and we’ll have our families there supporting us as well. It’s important to have the supporters seeing us home for the season – hopefully we can return their favour.”


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