Defender pleased to be back out at Madejski StadiumReading defender Jake Cooper was pleased with his first competitive appearance of the season against Everton, despite the team falling to defeat in Tuesday evening’s Capital One Cup meeting.
The 20-year-old centre-back made his first start of the season in the 2-1 loss and had to deal with the attacking threat of Belgian international Romelu Lukaku, which he wasn’t fazed by.
“It was good to play against Lukaku and [Arouna] Kone, I always want to play against the best and test myself out and I thought I dealt with them well,” said Cooper.
You always get strong strikers, I’ve played against plenty in the Championship, so I just played my normal game against Lukaku and treated him as I would any other striker – that’s all I could do.”
Cooper was pleased with the team display against their Premier League opponents, believing it showed just how strong the Royals squad was.
“I think our performance against Everton shows how good our squad can be,” he continued. “It was a great performance out there, but the main thing for us is the result. We are a bit disappointed with the defeat, as we wanted to win, but I think we can take a lot of positives from the game.
“Against a team of Everton’s calibre, it just takes one bit of quality from them and it’s in the back of our net. But the lads did well, we showed what we can do against a top Premier League team.”
It was a difficult start to the season for the Royals Academy graduate after picking up an injury early on in the campaign, but Cooper is enjoying his return to fitness and playing football again.
The Royals now look ahead to the weekend when they face Burnley in the Sky Bet Championship and Cooper believes the display in the Cup is something that can be built on.
“It was disappointing to get injured at the start of the season but it feels good to come back, and I’m enjoying my football now. It was great to get back in the team and every chance the manager gives me I’m going to try and take.
“I think we have a good chance to get a league run going now starting with the trip to Burnley. We want to push on in the League. We’re top six now and we need to prove we belong there and get even closer to the top if we can.”