Millwall defender Shaun Hutchinson reveals how he would stop Jake Cooper being a threat from set-pieces

BY RICHARD CAWLEY

Shaun Hutchinson’s plan for how he would stop Jake Cooper from scoring aren’t legal – underlining just how difficult it is to deny the Millwall man in the air.

Former Reading centre-back Cooper has been one of the Lions most consistent performers this season, scoring once and also gaining three assists.

Hutchinson, back fit after a knee injury which sidelined him for almost two months, played alongside Cooper for most of last season.

“It’s not easy as a defender when you’re not getting the three points [this season] and you get a bit of criticism,” said Hutchinson. “He’s stood strong and done well.

“He’s an absolute handful on every set-piece. He’s a weapon that a lot of teams are going to try and stop in the future.

“I’d probably just wrestle him to the ground if I was marking him. There’s not much you can do – he’s that tall and aggressive attacking the ball – if it lands where he wants it. That’s what people have found out, if they put two men on him or go zonal they still struggle to defend it.

“It’s an option. It could be used to open up space for others like myself, Webby [Byron Webster] or Murray Wallace.”

IMAGES BY BRIAN TONKS

SEE FRIDAY’S SOUTH LONDON PRESS FOR THE FULL INTERVIEW WITH HUTCHINSON

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