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Swansea City 0 v 1 Preston North End
SkyBet Championship
Monday, 5th April 2021 Kick-off 15:00
PNE Please No Excuses : Bank Holiday Monday Big Match Preview
Sunday, 4th Apr 2021 13:07 by Keith Haynes

The swans return to action after what has been described as one of the worst displays for a number of seasons at St Andrews, Birmingham on Friday evening. The 1-0 loss opened up so much discussion on Steve a cooper, it almost became as embarrassing as the performance it self.

Three losses on the bounce, something rarely witnessed by swans fans, even during their Premier League hiatus it wasn’t something that occurred that often. We have delved deep in to that last loss, and much has been said, but it has to be water under the bridge. There is no way this side can be as bad as it has been in recent times. However, on Friday it was so gutless, so toothless it’s very hard to focus in now on the home game against Preston.

The omission of Morgan Whittaker isn’t making any sense at all to the majority of swans fans, a player who against Cardiff had more efforts at goal than Jamal Lowe had conjured up in a month. A player with hunger and desire with a clear knack of being in the right position at the right time has been evident on the few occasions we have seen him. His goal against Manchester City was significant proof, his effort and desire against Cardiff confirmed this. On another day he would have had a hatrick.

So why is he being ignored ?
Almost indignantly Steve Cooper is very loath to switch from his Lowe, Ayew combination, a partnership that is now completely toothless and what we seem to have are two players completely out of sorts and failing to work with each other. Ayew’s persistence to do too much rivalled only by Lowes inability to score a goal in twenty hours of professional football for the swans. There needs to be a change, surely Morgan Whittaker is that change for this game, Cooper has nothing to lose, but sticking with Lowe and Ayew is a gamble, a proven unproductive goal source for many matches.

Things coming out of the club
Someone is talking somewhere, that’s for sure. Somebody is leaking false information ( Marc Guehi not being fit ) as an example. Steve Cooper pushing the club for a lucrative deal is another. Personally I don’t see any reason why he shouldn’t be rewarded with a new contract. We know his current one, and any new one will come with a high compensation clause for the swans if another club want him. So there’s little to be lost and everything to gain for both him and Swansea City FC. It’s time to stand by Steve Cooper, many swans supporters will disagree, but the reaction to losing three games on the bounce was borderline craziness. We realise the expectation of the clubs fans is high, and the promise only two months ago was automatic promotion, but overall that was never going to be the reward this season. Absolutely impossible with these players in this formation this season. The loss of Jordan Morris and Morgan Gibbs-White is well documented and they would have made a huge difference during this run in.

Despite the horrendous game in Birmingham many PNE fans think they will lose this game. It has become a feature of the fixture in recent times. The swans definitely hold the majority of wins. PNE haven’t won in Swansea since 1961. And that’s a lot of games ago.

Preston North End interim head coach Frankie McAvoy believes the Lilywhites will cut out the problems Norwich City caused them for the remaining games of the season when they take on Swansea City. McAvoy had his first match in temporary charge of PNE on Good Friday at Deepdale against the Canaries. “Let’s concentrate on the here and now; let’s look at the squad of players to make sure we assess everyone that played against Norwich and get the right team, the right personnel and the right shape on the pitch. It has to be the same message. We were very mindful of Norwich – they are a good team – and I thought the best way to create opportunities was the way we set up. On reflection, they caused us problems when they broke the first part of the press, so I need to look at what’s the best way going forward for each of the games."

Brad Pott’s scored the equaliser against Norwich on Friday. “We’re a close group anyway and things haven’t been going our way recently. So I think just for the club really and for the fans and the players, it was vital that we didn’t lose today. There’s probably no better way than scoring a last-minute goal because obviously all the emotions come out even more I’d say and yeah, the lads are delighted to get a point in the end.” The game looked to be over when Tim Krul gathered a looping deflection in the fourth minute of added time, but the team kept going and found time for one last attack. “To be honest after that, I thought the ref was going to blow his whistle. But [I’m] just thankful for another attack and I think it was a great ball from Leds (Ryan Ledson) and yeah it’s just one of them, if you don’t shoot you don’t score so delighted for it to go in.

Preston will come to Swansea brimming with confidence after holding Norwich to a draw.

Steve Cooper - We have to go for it
It’s been tough, but it’s the same for everyone,” said Cooper, who sees his side host Preston on Monday. It’s a survival of the fittest both physically and mentally. It’s a rocky road, and we’re on a bit of a downer at the moment, but it’s important that we return to a high. “We have got to go for it.”

After the defeat on Friday Cooper remained as positive as his demeanour would allow. It’s three losses and three without a goal, but we’ve got to not lose confidence or start questioning,” said the Swans boss. The more points you drop now, it will get tougher and tougher as there’s less games to play. The three points become more and more important now, and we’re well aware of that. We are disappointed with this result, but we’ve got to make sure we draw a line under it and get ready for the next one. We have got to start working harder and prepare for Monday.”

There are a few doubts, Guehi and his ‘injury’ seems fine. Naughton, Bennett, Cabango, Bidwell and Roberts all seem okay too, although Bidwell’s recent form has been questionable to say the least. The midfield will see Conor Hourihane available for selection and as we have already stated the top two will most certainly be Ayew and Lowe, but we can only pray this Easter Whittaker is allowed to make an impact.

The swans are now fourth in the league only six points ahead of sixth spot. Brentford gained a point on Saturday away at Huddersfield putting them ahead of the swans on goal difference. This awful run of form has to stop, the swans are still favourites to reach the play offs out of all the teams below them, let’s hope that is cemented even more so after a win at home on Monday afternoon.

What’s your opinion on the swans recent form and Steve Cooper ? Comment below or Jon us on our forums.

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