Manager speaks about centre-half’s international selectionRoyals centre-half Jake Cooper has been named as part of Keith Downing’s England Under-20 squad, and could therefore face Canada at Doncaster Rovers’ Keepmoat Stadium during the forthcoming international weekend.
Boss Brian McDermott felt that Cooper’s first selection for the Young Lions at that age group was a by-product of years of hard graft.
“He’s a great boy – he has earned that right for what he has done since he was a young boy,” said the manager. “He is still young in his career and he’s learning in every game, every day, every training session.
“He has also had a little break as well against Brighton, which will be good for him going forward.”
That break against the Seagulls was enforced, serving suspension after being shown a red against Crystal Palace. Now he is likely to be involved again this weekend against Cardiff, although Lucas Piazon and Deniss Rakels both have question-marks over their availability.
Meanwhile Matej Vydra made his first start in almost six weeks when he began the game against Brighton, continuing his return to fitness.
“I don’t think Lucas will be available – he has been ill with a virus so we’ll have to check him,” continued Brian. “Deniss has got a bit of a hamstring, but he should be okay.
“We also got 60 minutes out of Matej Vydra the other day, so that was good.”