Swansea City : The banana skin ahead this weekend
Friday, 16th Apr 2021 17:10 by David Cornish
Swansea City go in search of three wins on the bounce to put more pressure on second place Watford this weekend. However, Wycombe themselves are determined to fight to the bitter end to avoid relegation back to League 1. It’s not going to be plain sailing for the swans but this game is a must win, the reality if they don’t it's another play off dog fight.
On the up. Wycombe have endured a number of challenging runs this season, but have shown great resolve. They are enjoying their best sequence of the season with 10 points taken from their last six games, including wins over Preston, Blackburn and Rotherham. That has left them nine points adrift of safety with five games remaining and everything still to fight for. A loss at Swansea means they are as good as relegated barring a miracle.
Steve Cooper on Routs
“This season he has been a real positive influence on everybody, whether he has been playing or not. “He has been out with injury until recently, but he has had a brilliant career that is still going and, as we have seen in the past two games, he has a contribution to make. “But he contributes in so many ways; in the togetherness of the group, he acts as a role model and is still one of the best trainers, he is a great bridge between myself and the dressing room. “He sees things from both sides and is a real good confidant for everyone, he has a massive heart and wants to give back.
“I cannot speak highly enough of him as a player and a person. The football club has been lucky to have him and I feel privileged to have worked with him, and I think any player or staff member would echo that. “He is a diamond, Wayne, and his career is not over yet. There is more to come, and he is a really good person.”
Wayne Routledge has once again stepped up for the swans
On Matt Grimes “He has gone from strength to strength, and is regularly among the Championship’s top midfield performers. And Cooper praised the consistently high level of performance produced by the former Exeter man. “The biggest compliment you can pay Matt is that you can take him for granted in terms of the level of his performances,” added the Swans boss. “You can come off a game and say certain players have played well, but Grimesy is someone who plays well every game. “His performances can go under the radar because of that, and he is having another really positive season. “He has grown as a captain and as a physical presence on the pitch.
Matt Grimes is a commanding presence in the swans midfield
“Wycombe will be bang at it, as are all of the teams who are fighting for their lives at this stage of the season. It will be another tough test but if we play like we did on Tuesday and Saturday then it will be all about us. We spoke after the win at Millwall that it was a brilliant result but we needed to back that up. We had four losses so just one good game was not enough to put that to bed, and we managed to do so at Sheffield Wednesday on Tuesday. “After four disappointing results it has been great to win back-to-back matches on the road. It’s a long season and we were going to have dips in performances, but we know why we are in the position we’re in. It was all about refocussing and trying to get back to the level that we know we can play at.”
Of late, Cooper has elected for a 4-3-3 system with strikers Andre Ayew and Jamal Lowe flanking the experienced Wayne Routledge. The 36-year-old has started just two league games this season, but those were recent wins over Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday. Evidently, Routledge has become Cooper's recent lucky charm. His work off the ball has allowed Ayew and Lowe the chance to get the crucial goals. Indeed, Routledge is averaging a notable 1.5 tackles per 90 in the Championship this season, a fine return for a forward and it means that, between them, Ayew and Lowe have scored four of Swansea's last five league goals.
Former Swans Adebayo Akinfenwa and Alex Samuel return to their old home, while ex-Cardiff man Joe Jacobson hopes to be fit again after injury, with Dominic Gape, Ryan Tafazolli and Nnamdi Ofoborh also in the treatment room and undergoing assessments. There's no news yet as to the availability of Josh Knight following his red card last week.
Ben Cabango is absent for the Swans, but they have no fresh injury concerns.
The big man himself returns this weekend
The Swansea independent view
Swansea City must win this game and carry forwards their new found confidence in to next weeks home game against QPR, if they do and manage to make it four games on the bounce and twelve points at the end of the QPR game then it’s going to be one hell of a final two weeks of the season.
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Photos licensed from Reuters
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