He may be small in stature, but Nathan Dyer is proving a big influence on Swansea City’s youngsters – according to manager Steve Cooper.
Dyer played four matches at the start of the season but then wasn’t seen again until the recent derby victory over Cardiff City.
But having overcome injury problems and medical complications that affected the birth of his daughter, the winger has added his familiar attributes of guile and workrate to the Championship promotion-chasers.
He was a key element in the victory over the Bluebirds – where his patience and know-how proved an asset – and then backed that up with his first away goal in over five years last week at Wigan.
“Nathan is an excellent person, a really good player. He has been out injured for a while, but he is back in now,” said Cooper.
“He had to bide his time a little bit, he also had the birth of his third child, which is much bigger than anything else to be honest.
“It’s great to have him back in the team. He has played well, he has been a real threat. He is an experienced player, he has seen it all before at a higher level than the Championship.
“First and foremost, he is focused on him being at his best, but he also looks to help others around him. He is a real positive influence to have around. I really enjoy working with him.”
Dyer is now the longest-serving member of the current first-team squad, and is fast closing in on 300 League appearances for the club.
With the Swans having earned back-to-back victories, the 31-year-old is likely to retain his place in the starting line-up for the visit to Sheffield Wednesday on Saturday.
A third successive victory could take the Swans back to the top of the table, depending on other results, but Cooper insists it is premature to assess their chances of returning to the Premier League.
“It’s way too early, we’ve got one game now before the international break then we come back and have three games in a week,” said Cooper.
“A week can change things for the better or for the worse. So I am getting a bit boring with my answers but I do think if you look too far ahead things can quickly change and it can bite you.
“We go through a process of reviewing games then preparing for the next one and going into games knowing we are in control of our performance. If we get it right we will win more games than we lose.”