Andre Ayew is proving to be the rock of experience on which Swansea City are rebuilding their promotion challenge, according to manager Steve Cooper.
The Swans striker scored the only goal of the game as his team made it back-to-back victories in the Championship with a 1-0 win at Luton Town.
After six games without a win, which saw the club tumble down the table, Cooper’s men have now taken maximum points against Middlesbrough and the Hatters and can now make it three on the trot on Boxing Day when they visit in-form Brentford.
Ayew’s role in the resurgence has been four goals in his last three games, giving him 10 for the season, but it is the Ghanaian’s influence on a young team that is impressing his manager.
With just eight minutes to go, it was Ayew who chested Jay Fulton’s cross over the line from a matter of inches to send the Swans back into the top six of the Championship.
Cooper said: “It was an easy finish, but you’ve got to be there to do that.
“Andre’s got a fantastic knack of being in the right place to score all types of goals and I was just glad he was there to nod it in.
“He couldn’t miss, but it’s his reading of the game again, he’s showing experience and know-how game in game out, he’s got the winner and we move on.
“It was a well-earned victory though, I thought we were more than good for the three points, so I’m really glad that we got them as these games are so tight in the Championship.
“I thought we controlled the game from start to finish. This is a ground where the players and supporters have been used to winning over the last few years and that always gives them a chance here.
“I thought we really handled coming here really well, the formation that they play, and we looked really good.
“It’s three points, it’s a clean sheet, I can only see positives coming out of the game.”
The visitors threatened early on, Ayew firing into the side-netting, before Luton came close when Andrew Shinnie’s 22-yard blast was tipped over by Freddie Woodman.
In the second half, Harry Cornick sliced wide, before Ayew’s downward headed was turned behind by Simon Sluga.
The hosts came close again when Cornick rounded Woodman, who had come racing out of his area, but substitute George Moncur couldn’t beat the covering Swansea defenders on the line.
Shinnie headed over before City won it, Ayew converting from close range for his 10th of the season.
Luton chief Graeme Jones felt there was two crucial incidents that went against his side, saying: “The big moment is Harry going round the keeper, the ball comes back to George, the keeper’s out of his goal, that was the moment we could have won the game.
“The goal comes from, Ryan Tunnicliffe doesn’t stop the cross and it spoons in the air, James Bree gets tripped, I don’t know if you’ve seen it back, he gets tripped – I think, accidentally – but Ayew runs across him and he’s on the floor.
“He should be marking him, obviously it’s not James’ fault, Ayew was there to head the ball in the back of the net and we’re just getting hurt.
“We’ve done very, very little wrong today and the boys have given absolutely everything and we got beat 1-0.
“I feel sorry for the lads today as we couldn’t have given any more.
“We’re just a little bit short at the moment and again we have to mention it, Swansea’s front three was 40 million pounds, so this is what we’re up against it. We got beat by one goal, a fortunate trip.
“I’ve told the boys nobody is going to help us, nobody is going to feel sorry for us, we need to dust ourselves down and the only measurement is giving everything we’ve got.”