Steve Cooper lavished praise on his Swansea City players for sticking to their principles to claim a dramatic victory at Stoke City.

The Championship contest at the bet365 Stadium looked destined to end level after Connor Roberts cancelled out Nick Powell's early strike.

But Andre Ayew struck his 11th goal of the campaign from the penalty spot deep into injury time to earn Swansea all three points in Staffordshire.

It came after a sustained period of pressure from the visitors after Conor Hourihane had replaced Jamal Lowe.

And Cooper was hugely impressed with the desire of his players to keep plugging away to ensure they earned a first away win over Stoke in two decades.

"You never give up and you keep going. That's what happened," said the Swansea head coach.

"We got a chance with the penalty in the end. We passed our way up the pitch, we had our wide centre-backs getting in the box to try and create.

"It's not forcing the game, it's trying to keep going and, in the end, even though it's more or less the last kick of the game, we did it well.

"They've got as much resource in this squad as anybody in the league, maybe apart from the teams that came down from the Premier League.

"We're up against one of the strongest squads, regardless of league position or form. You come up against Stoke at any time, it's going to be a really tough game.

"But we played well tonight. We had a difficult start to the game with a goal that can sometimes happen with the way we play, but we stuck to the plan, got back in the game and scored an excellent goal with a fantastic cross from Ryan and just as good a finish from Connor.

"We stuck to the plan. It ebbed and flowed a bit in the second half, but we were the team in the last 15-20 minutes that were wanting to win the game, and we did."

Stoke boss Michael O'Neill was less than impressed with referee David Webb's decision to award Swansea a spot-kick at the death.

But Cooper admits his initial reaction to the collision between Kyle Naughton and Jack Clarke was that the Swans deserved a penalty.

"I'll be honest, I haven't seen it back on the TV," he said.

"I thought it was a penalty at the time, particularity with it being Kyle Naughton and him being a defender, he's usually defending those situations."

Victory means Swansea now trail Brentford and Watford by just a point while they boast two games in hand over the Bees and the Hornets.

Swansea return to action against Middlesbrough at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.