Swansea City beat Cardiff City 1-0 in the Championship yesterday, as Steve Cooper’s side claimed the spoils in the first Welsh derby of the season.
A first-half goal from 19-year-old Ben Wilmot was enough to see Swansea end a run of one win in seven games, and take them up to fourth in the Championship table – two points off leaders West Brom.
It was a classy performance from Cooper’s side, and one player looked solid as ever.
22-year-old Freddie Woodman has been the Swansea number one this season, and he gave another sterling performance in goal yesterday to help his side to victory.
The stopper is on-loan at Swansea for the season from Newcastle United and has played every minute of Swansea’s Championship campaign so far, keeping five clean sheets in the process.
His performances have kept the likes of Kristoffer Nordfeldt and former Feyenoord ‘keeper Erwin Mulder out of the team, and he looks like a real quality ‘keeper in the making.
He and Swansea have enjoyed a great start to life under Cooper.
Cooper was appointed Swansea manager in the summer and it was his first job in first-team management, having previously worked as a coach in the England youth set-up.
His side got off to an unprecedented start, winning seven of their opening eight games in all competitions and asserting themselves as early contenders for the Championship crown.
Their form dwindled pretty rapidly soon after though, and before the weekend Swansea had fallen out of the play-offs.
But the table is tight enough for a win or two to put you right back in contention, and that’s exactly what the derby win has done for Swansea.
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Woodman has been a reliable force at the back for Swansea.
The youngster is getting his best career experience at Swansea this season having spent time on-loan in the Scottish Premier League, and last season playing only for the Newcastle U23 side.
He’s earned a reputation for being an acrobat in goal, capable of pulling off some of the most gravity-defying saves.
This season is proving his breakthrough one, and he looks a real star in the making – he could well be in-line for a starting spot at parent-club Newcastle next year.
Steve Bruce could well guide them to relegation though, and Woodman could in-turn find himself a target for several Premier League clubs if he continue to play the way he is at Swansea.