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Cooper taking things one step at a time

1 December 2014

Defender not getting carried away

Weekend matchwinner Jake Cooper insists that he is taking things one step at a time, as he bids to nail down a regular spot at the heart of Reading’s defence.

The 19-year-old, in for the suspended Alex Pearce on Saturday, bagged both goals as the Royals came from behind to beat Norwich 2-1 at Carrow Road.

And after his man-of-the-match performance Cooper says that he will not get carried away by the euphoria of the weekend.

“It was a great win and a great performance by the team, and personally I’m delighted to score two goals in only my third Championship start,” said the academy graduate.

“I’m happier to get the win, though – that was the most important thing. My first goal was important as we equalised so quickly but to get another, and the way the boys defended in the second half, was unbelievable.

“It started from the front with Glenn Murray and we were brilliant all over the pitch. We conceded an unlucky goal but the way we turned it around and showed our strength to keep the ball out of the net in the second half was brilliant.”

After Gary Hooper’s opener for Norwich, the teenager powered home two far-post headers to turn the game around before half time.

Such predatory forward play means the centre-back is likely to receive greater attention from defenders in the coming weeks but, if selected, Cooper will find a way around that.

The defender said: “I’m there to be a threat, and a target, and that’s what I aim to do in every attack. I’ve always enjoyed scoring goals as a youngster and I’ll always try my best to make something of a corner.

“If teams want to try and stop me, I’ll work out another way and do my best to score every time. I don’t go up there for no reason - I go up there to try and put it in the back of the net.

“It would be nice to start against Bolton but, at the end of the day, I trust the gaffer and whatever decision he makes I believe will be best for me. That’s down to him.

“I’m only 19, so I’m still looking to learn. I want to take each day as it comes and see where I go from there.”

Cooper believes that the weekend’s victory sends out a message to the rest of the Championship.

“We look forward to every game,” he said. “We’re not afraid or scared of any test. The week has been good, we’ve all been together, and on Saturday we showed that we can be a top team in this division.”

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