McDermott on Cooper’s maturity and his youth system groundingBrian McDermott hailed the work of our Academy in giving aspiring young players a platform to step up into the rigorous demands of professional football.
Centre-half Jake Cooper was a shining example of this in his man-of-the-match performance on Saturday against Bristol City; despite it being his first league start of the campaign, he had already impressed against the likes of Lukaku and Arouna Kone against Everton earlier in the season and his routine preparation in the week before our win over the Robins ensured he could be relied upon when the team needed him.
“Coops was phenomenal,” McDermott said. “It’s not an accident. This boy is in the gym at half eight every morning, he eats the right food, he does the right things, his mentality is very, very strong.
“We’ve got young players who have been brought up fantastically well in the Academy. Eamonn Dolan has done a terrific job there – he and his staff bring them up the right way, in a way that allows them to be able to play in our first team.
“To throw Jake into that team against Bristol City, their two strikers were a handful – but we kept a clean sheet, he’s handled it well, and he was down there in the dressing room that evening on the phone to his mum – he’s just a lovely kid.”