‘It’s been a bit of a burden on me’ – Jake Cooper relieved to end wait for Millwall goal

Jake Cooper has expressed his delight at opening his account for the season during Millwall’s 3-1 win over Cardiff City on Saturday.

The Lions’ vice-captain added his name to the season’s scoresheet in fine fashion, smashing a left-footed volley into the roof of the net in first-half stoppage time to restore his side’s lead.

“It was more instinct,” he said, when asked about his finish.

“I’ve been desperate to add my name on to the scoresheet this season.

“It’s been difficult. I’ve had a good few chances in the last few games. I’ve been feeling confident about it. Neil (Harris) has been talking to me about it and fortunately I got there in the end. I’m a centre-half, but it’s a bit of a burden on me to score goals as well.

“I feel responsible for the team. The position we are in the league – we’ve had a tough season – I feel responsible for that. I take a lot of that on my shoulders. It’s nice to chip in when it really matters in a game like today.”

Head coach Harris brought Cooper to Millwall during his first spell in charge, initially on loan during the Lions’ promotion season in 2017 before the move was made permanent that summer.

Cooper has formed a strong partnership with Tottenham loanee Japhet Tanganga.

Harris has reverted to a four at the back system rather than the five used by both Joe Edwards and Gary Rowett, it has made the Lions more solid, conceding just nine goals in Harris’ 10 games.

Asked about the partnership they have formed, Cooper said. “He definitely complements me.

“We’ve come up through different routes – he has come through at Spurs and played however many games there at a top side.

“He is trying to get himself fit, playing more games and seeing where he ends up next season.

“He has been a great addition to the squad. He’s a really nice lad, been playing really well and he’s been a good signing for the club.”

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