Swansea City v Cardiff City: Steve Cooper welcomes Brendan Rodgers' derby advice

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'It means everything': Swans and Bluebirds prepare for south Wales derby

Steve Cooper has received advice from Brendan Rodgers ahead of Swansea City's clash with Cardiff City.

Cooper has spoken to Leicester's ex-Swans manager as he prepares for his south Wales derby debut on Sunday.

Swansea's head coach has also insisted he has no connection with Cardiff despite dad Keith's Bluebirds links.

"I spent half an hour with Brendan on the phone in the week. It was good - I got an insight from him about his experiences in these games," he said.

"He reinforced to me the magnitude of the derby. He spoke fondly of it. He obviously had a great time here.

"He's also done the Old Firm and the Merseyside derbies so he's had experience of big games, but he spoke really positively about this part of the world in general. It was a good conversation."

Rodgers won and lost derby games en route to steering Swansea to promotion from the Championship in 2010-11.

Cooper, who worked in Liverpool's academy when Rodgers was Reds boss, is looking to emulate the Northern Irishman by leading Swansea to the Premier League.

Cooper's father is a former top-flight referee who is a known Cardiff supporter, but the Swans boss says he never followed the capital city club.

Brendan Rodgers and former Cardiff boss Dave Jones
Brendan Rodgers and former Cardiff boss Dave Jones greet each other before the Bluebirds won 1-0 in Swansea in February, 2011

"There's absolutely no connection from me to Cardiff - or Swansea as a child - I was a Liverpool fan growing up," said Pontypridd-born Cooper.

"Myself and all my family are right behind Swansea and looking forward to the derby.

"My dad and my brother haven't missed a Swansea game yet. They're right behind me and the team and really proud that I've got this opportunity.

"We are - particularly me - just so desperate to do well in this job and I'm enjoying it. I hope I can continue for a long time."

When asked about his father's association with Cardiff, Cooper added: "He's backing me. He won't miss a game unless I can't get him a ticket.

"My mum and dad are really proud, but it's all tittle-tattle really. The most important thing about this game is Swansea City Football Club and doing the best we can do on the weekend. We are all determined to make it a good day."

Cooper is expecting some "hurly burly" as Swansea and Cardiff meet for the first time since 2014, but says his players must have "clear minds" going into the Liberty Stadium clash.

"If there is chaos you have to try to be as calm as you can within it," he said.

"We know it's a big game. We are representing the city, the community and everything the football club stands for.

"We have to use that as motivation - we can't use it as something to be fearful of."

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All pictures via Getty Images.

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