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Birmingham City 1 v 0 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Friday, 2nd April 2021 Kick-off 20:00
Swansea City not fit for purpose yet again !
Saturday, 3rd Apr 2021 09:00 by Keith Haynes

As if it couldn’t get any worse for Steve Cooper’s swans, once high flying after beating Norwich City 2-0 and in second place in the league, they are now just a very ordinary football team that seems rudderless and without direction. The latest defeat to Birmingham City was nothing more than dreadful, not only to watch but in its administration from the touchline.

Birmingham City 1 Swansea City 0

Steve Cooper’s dissenters are definitely growing, that’s a fact after a dismal and lack lustre showing at St Andrews on Good Friday. The cohesion that we were used to seeing is gone, the lack of direction and purpose is a distant memory. On Friday the swans showed absolutely no desire to win this game of football, none whatsoever. The blame will always be proportioned towards the manager, that’s what he is paid to do, ‘manage’ and when it goes right he takes the plaudits, and when it doesn’t there comes the criticism. Cooper’s pre match press conference a few days ago was downbeat and dour. He showed no passion in his address to the supporters and lacked assurance in his overall demeanour. And that’s exactly what we saw against Birmingham City.

A lot was taken from that ten minute press conference, it was very clear something was wrong.

The game in Birmingham was so uninspiring it’s hardly worthy of note, a Freddie Woodman penalty save, blasted straight at him in the first half, and a desperate dive to save a second penalty was the only credible action deserving of praise. Jamal Lowe fired a decent enough shot goal wards after ten minutes, which was well saved. Fifty minutes later a bit of cohesive play nearly earned the swans a goal in the second half, but that was that. Swansea City had a player on the bench in Morgan Whittaker who had nine efforts against Cardiff City, be they blocked, saved or missed. A player that clearly has the desire to score goals and do things properly. On Friday he was ignored right until the last minute of the game.

When a manager starts subbing players with a minute to go and making very late decisions it’s desperation, plain and simple. Either that or you are protecting a lead, the chance to do that would be a fine thing for Swansea. The build up play is now so slow and disrupted it often leads to nothing.We saw, in this game, no flair, no taking ownership, nothing at all can be taken from the performance. A third defeat in a row, a third game without scoring a goal.

Birmingham City manager Lee Bowyer
"There's a long way to go and a lot of points to play for. The most pleasing thing for me is that we're here again at home and got another win. "It was a fully deserved win I feel against another good side, so it's good to put some points on the board with our home form. "The work rate from the lads was outstanding, the press was very good and we forced them to go long most of the time, and when they did try and play we pressed and won the ball high. With the second penalty you're thinking, 'not again, please', but Scotty stepped up and he had the bottle to take it and thankfully he scored."

Swansea City head coach Steve Cooper
"That wasn't a good version of us - we're a much better team than that. "The result is the most disappointing but the performance is right up there in terms of disappointment, because we didn't play anywhere near the level we can play in so many ways. "I'm not saying we got what we deserved but we have certainly got to play better going forward, that's for sure. We weren't good. I just didn't see it coming because we trained so well and everything was positive. It was not what I've seen for the last two weeks and that's disappointing.
"There's no excuses. We can't hide from the fact that we were well below par tonight. It's three losses and three games without a goal, but we've got to not lose confidence and not start questioning things. We thought all through the second half about making changes but then we'd have a little spell and though maybe we were coming good. We've got to work even harder and get ready for the game on Monday." We've just not played well enough. It's important that we don't panic, we stick together, I lead well and we remain focused because everything's still there to play for."

The only thing to play for now is the play offs, the four team lottery that the swans played out last season. They need possibly a win and a draw to reach them again this season. As we have stated for many weeks now, to us that’s all that Swansea City look like doing. Getting a play off spot. As it stands the swans don’t stand a chance of winning those play off games, none whatsoever. Unless something dramatic happens in the attitude of the players, the way the management prepare and select for Monday’s game against Preston - Swansea will limp in to the play offs on the back of what seems today as the worst form in a couple of seasons. The one nil wins have gone, that extra luck in front of goal has gone, and the desire and energy from the players has gone.

We have always supported the management team at the club, but the last six to eight weeks have made that very difficult, in fact so difficult we now question their strategy and belief in what they are delivering away from the match day glare. Yes, everything has gone.

And the way things are going, other things could well be gone come the end of the season. A season in which so much was on offer, but unfortunately nobody took advantage of. The losers are always the fans, those that remain when others move on, we all know that. However in Birmingham the players who put on that proud white Swansea City shirt are the contributors to their own downfall, they were pitiful to a man. It’s bad enough losing to a hoof ball team like Cardiff without any guts on display at all. That was worthy of criticism, but we laid off. They were an embarrassment then and they are a bigger embarrassment now. To be honest they should be ashamed to call themselves Swansea City professional footballers.

And that takes a lot of saying, but that performance by all in a white shirt was an absolute disgrace.

Birmingham City: Etheridge, Colin, Roberts, Dean (C), Pedersen, Seddon (Friend 46), Gardner (Harper 90), Sunjic, Halilovic (Toral 67), Leko (Hogan 80), Jutkiewicz (Cosgrove 80).

Subs not used: Prieto, San Jose, McGree, Bela.

Yellow card: Seddon 45+1

Goal: Hogan 90+1

Swansea City: Woodman; Naughton (Whittaker 90+1), Bennett, Guehi; Roberts, Grimes (C), Smith (Dhanda 70), Fulton, Bidwell; Lowe (Routledge 88), Ayew.

Subs not used: Hamer, Latibeaudiere, Cabango, Manning, Hourihane, O Cooper.

Referee: Tony Harrington

Photo: Action Images



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