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Cooper looks back on Wigan battle

Defender speaks after 2-2 Den draw with Latics

27 November 2019

Jake Cooper reflected on a “tough battle” following Tuesday night's 2-2 draw at home to Wigan Athletic, in which the defender felt that lessons were learned to take into Saturday's fixture at Birmingham City.

The visitors twice took the lead through goals from Anthony Pilkington and Antonee Robinson, but The Lions pegged them back thanks to goals from captain Shaun Hutchinson and half-time substitute Matt Smith. After the final whistle, Cooper offered some insight into the midweek battle.

“­­­Certainly, the first 15 minutes we were disappointed with, [we] didn’t quite get going after the good performance on Saturday," said the centre-half.

"We didn’t quite hit the ground running and we have to look at ourselves there and take that into the weekend. When we come back after a good win away, we have to look at ourselves and make sure we can get behind that performance and carry it on.”

Cooper gave credit to a hard-working Wigan side who pushed Millwall throughout the 90 minutes, but felt The Lions did well to bounce back while learning a valuable lesson for the games ahead.

“Wigan’s mentality coming here off the back of seeing us play really well and they’ve given away a late goal at the weekend as well, so they really wanted to really turn things around.

“Every game in this division is tough, but you’ve got to give credit to Wigan with how they came here and performed - they made it really difficult for us.

“We just couldn’t quite get going [early] enough and unfortunately the goals came that we conceded; [but] we managed to turn things around which was a credit to us and a positive note. We really need to improve on that first 15 minutes and the way that we start games here better.”

The defender believes that there are plenty of positives to take from the contest, and that it could be reflected on as a point gained, closing the gap on the Play-Offs to just four points.

“If they had offered us four points from the last two games, I think most people would have taken it, so we can’t be disappointed.

"We're happy with the return and we go into another great game on Saturday against Birmingham, where we believe we can get another three points.”

Cooper finally claimed confidence is still running high following last week’s first League away win of the season, and The Lions will be looking to continue the chase to move up the table.

“[There’s] certainly confidence off the back of Swansea on Saturday - playing away from home, we feel like we can get something now.”

“We look more confident in the way we’ve been playing so we will go there looking good and strong, and I’m sure we can come away with the three points if we prepare ourselves properly.” 

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