Swansea City v QPR :The game which will tell us everything about automatic promotion
Tuesday, 20th Apr 2021 09:42 by Keith Haynes
It’s down to the last four games, and tonight is the first of that run in. The swans have QPR and Derby at home and Reading and Watford away. They have to win them all, no more slacking, wandering around aimlessly or failing to execute basic passing moves. This is it, draw or lose and it’s over for the swans and any hope of automatic promotion. Win and it could leave a chink of light shining through a nearly closed curtain.
Most clubs fans will say their club never does things easily. However those with mid table mediocrity most seasons don’t know about times like these in a clubs football calendar. Times when the real players in a side have to stand up, yes, when they have to earn their money and be proud of their shirt. When you put it that way it’s not much to ask, however, there’s no more free radical than folk. And when you add a bouncing ball, anything can happen.
Steve Cooper remains upbeat and confident going in to tonights big game at the Liberty. lights. “We are all in the same boat, there is little room for error and time is precious,” said the Swansea head coach. We need to make the most of our games, look to get results without forcing it and see where it takes us. But it’s exciting, this is where you want to be. Let’s not lose sight of the position we have put ourselves in with four games to go. We were disappointed not to win at the weekend, but when I take a deep breath and look at the bigger picture it is an exciting position to be in. We want to play these games with confidence, in the manner we played against Millwall and Sheffield Wednesday. It’s a brilliant group of lads, they have worked so hard, we now need to put it all together for these last few weeks. We know QPR have had some really good results since the turn of the year, they are a good footballing team and try and play with the ball. It’s a different test to the weekend, but we are at home and I am sure there will be a bit of a fire in the belly to play better than what we did against Wycombe.”
Steve Cooper upbeat about tonight’s game
That’s most certainly true, that Wycombe result will more than likely be the scoreline that many of us will reflect upon come the end of the season. Those missed chances and lost opportunities to compete and show maximum strength and ability. However, whilst there is hope there is light, and where there’s light there is most certainly air. Deep breaths are required tonight. We have the elements still to succeed.
QPR on the other hand have little to play for, their 2021 form is decent and they won’t be an easy side to break down or get goals against, especially Swansea. Manager Mark Warburton reflected back to Middlesbrough in his press conference yesterday. “The way the players coped with being down to ten men for such a long period was really pleasing,” Warburton said “To a man, we stepped up, tackled, blocked crosses and defended the goal. Joe Lumley deserves an enormous amount of credit - he pulled off a couple of tremendous saves.” Lumley had only made one appearance for QPR in seven months prior to coming off the bench at the Riverside Stadium, and Warburton says he has been pleased with how the goalkeeper has handled losing his place in the starting line-up to Dieng. “I have been highly, highly impressed by Joe’s response – but not surprised,” said the R’s chief “The way he works hard every single day, he has had to be patient and has obviously been frustrated but he has never let that affect his training. “He works tirelessly and the way he prepares himself and applies himself is outstanding. Joe is a highly talented, ultra-professional goalkeeper who deserves so much praise.”
Mark Warburton knows this will be the game with nought taken out
QPR stand in the way of the final assault on automatic promotion, so Warburton knows what he is in for. “We expect a very, very tough game,” he said. “Swansea may have lost Andrew Ayew (to injury) but they are a very strong squad and we know we face a very formidable test but as always they will know that QPR can play, they will know we are dangerous and we want to finish in the top ten.” Charlie Austin is available after completing his three-match ban following an incident against Nottingham Forest, and Warburton has confirmed the West Brom loanee will feature against Swansea – but Lyndon Dykes is likely to start after his impressive run of form. The Scotland striker has scored five goals in his last six games, while he also set up Lee Wallace’s match-winner against ‘Boro. “For a guy that has come through a lot in his first year, he has dealt with an enormous amount and deserves so much credit,” Warburton said. “He is in a rich vein of form but he knows you have got to keep pushing.” Discussing his thinking ahead of the game tonight, Warburton explained: “We can play Charlie and Lyndon together, we can play different formations and we have to look at what is best against Swansea. “Charlie will be the first to say that you want competition.
Andre Ayew is receiving last minute treatment today
Andre Ayew remains a doubt, his injury on Saturday was managed well at the time and although it’s unlikely he will be in the squad tonight, an earlier return is expected. Liam Cullen should start in what is a straight swap, and we would like to see Morgan Whittaker start too- but the more experienced Wayne Routledge most likely will see him start with Lowe and Cullen. These games often produce more goals than most so we do expect goals,tonight. QPR have won three and drawn one of their last six matches. The swans are still climbing out of their four defeated matches on the bounce - with two wins and a draw from their last three games.
It’s all or nothing tonight, quite simply the start of the end of the road.
Swansea City vs Queens Park Rangers. Sky Bet Championship.
Photos licensed from Reuters
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