|Reading 2 v 2 Swansea City|
Sunday, 25th April 2021 Kick-off 12:00
Cooper drops next season hint as the swans prepare for Reading away - Saturday Edition
Saturday, 24th Apr 2021 09:57 by Keith Haynes
The swans travel to Reading on Sunday looking for the one point needed to secure a promotion play off place. As happened last season it’s Reading again that provide the opposition, the royals need to win for a last gasp opportunity to keep their play off hopes alive.
Its a LIVE tv game for the swans again, and when questioned in his pre match interview Cooper seemed indifferent to the point being made that the swans could go out and play for a point. Referencing his game plan and a need to take the game ‘forwards’ he gave nothing away other than his usual comments pre match we have a heard all season.
Cooper seemed slightly downbeat today but said the usual things starting with Andre Ayew. “It’s looking like he will miss this weekend’s game. We are doing everything we can, and he is doing everything he can to be fit," he said. But if he does miss out this weekend, it will be the last game he misses as he should be ready for Derby. As I said, we feared it would be worse than it actually is, but this game has probably come too soon. “We will wait and see, but we won’t take any risks with him that’s for sure. We don’t want to have him miss any more games. We are working hard to get him fit as soon as possible." The Swans boss confirmed there are no new injury concerns on the back of the midweek fixture.
Andre will sit this game out
When asked about his contract at the club Cooper responded by saying “ Steve Kaplan will be in touch” He went on to say “With the general running of the club, Julian I'm assuming has contact with them," when asked if he has had discussions with the majority owners of late. Cooper responded he hadn’t "I’m not too sure about the conversations, not that I need to know. "I think that next seasons plans maybe more something Julian and Andy Scott will be thinking about," he said. I’ve just got to focus on the team, the next game and trust that, whatever situation we’re in, next year the club is ready to do the right thing."
For us that final statement could mean Cooper is no longer interested in bringing in any more of his own type of player, or indeed he doesn’t fancy his chances of being at Swansea next season. It was an odd remark for a manager who has had a lot of input in to the recruitment side of the club in the past two seasons.
Conor Hourihane has struggled of late for fitness and his form has certainly deteriorated but Cooper remains a huge fan.” He's needed a bit of managing lately after coming back from a hamstring injury and playing a load of games. So we've had to be a little bit careful with him. He's such a committed lad. He will give you the same answer as me, I'm sure. Let's just focus on these remaining games and not let any sideshow get involved." That’s strange because when you read above that the recruitment is down to Winter and Scott, then when asked about Conor Hourihane he states “ I don't think either of us have thought about that. "We love Conor. He's been a brilliant addition for us”
So what is it ? We rely on a credible few to keep our club safe, not in the words of Cooper “ any sideshows” to distract them, think about it.
For us here at Swansea Independent, Watford have deservedly got their heads firmly on and fully focussed. They will secure second place and a return to the premier league, in fact both Norwich and Watford fully deserve to be in the top two. Bournemouth in third entertain Brentford on Saturday, a win for the cherries will put them in to third spot comfortably. Barnsley host struggling Rotherham United who are running out of chances to save themselves from relegation to League one. If as predicted both Bournemouth and Barnsley win then the swans will kick off at Reading in fifth place and Brentford in sixth. With two games to go after this weekend home to Derby then away to Watford, it’s down to the usual fine margins.
Everybody will want to avoid Bournemouth in the play offs, and if the swans do get the point they need its looking - on form - more than likely that the two sides could face each other in the play off semi finals. Here’s hoping that doesn’t happen, a one off game at Wembley will suit the swans far better.
Reading v Swansea City kicks off at 12 noon on Sunday and is LIVE on Sky Sports
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Letters from Wiltshire #48 by wessex_exile
“And now the end is near, and so we face the final curtain…regrets, we’ve had a few, but then again, too few to mention”. Not quite right Paul Anka, probably more than a few, but otherwise a fair assessment of where the U’s are today. It’ll be interesting to see how we perform with the relegation monkey finally off their back – I’m not expecting miracles, particularly with Tranmere needing at least a point to guarantee making the play-offs, but they’ll certainly be more nervous than we will be, so can we make that count? This will be my last blog of the season, and not yet sure what I may or may not do for next season, but suggestions are always welcome.
Letters from Wiltshire #47 by wessex_exile
Here we are, at the penultimate game of the season, and our last game in front of the cardboard U’s faithful at the JobServe. It has been a long, difficult, and definitely strange season, which frankly I’ll be glad to see the back of. That’ll we’ll be here again in August is definitely going to be something to celebrate, but I suspect we’re facing a summer of significant rebuilding both on the pitch, and possibly off it too. I won’t be the only one, but the biggest oddity for me has been being able to watch every single game – not always easy viewing, but something I’ve never done before, and probably never will again. But it doesn’t really make up for not being there in person, the long train journey away-days, meeting fellow U’s and other supporters, and of course sharing a beer or three. Fingers-crossed we can return to the terraces in 2021/22.
Letters from Wiltshire #46 by wessex_exile
That was quite a week for us all then. In the space of four short but remarkably tense days we have gone from having to take shoes and socks off to check how many more points we need to guarantee survival, or whether we would even achieve it, to breathing a huge sigh of relief knowing we’re almost there. But close of play this afternoon, whether by our own actions or the failure of others, I am sure survival will be confirmed. Of course, Tuesday night not only all but guaranteed it, it also virtually condemned local rivals Southend United to non-league football for the foreseeable. Looking at the host of fully professional former football league sides currently battling it out for the two promotion slots out of the National league (including Hartlepool, Torquay, Stockport, Wrexham, Chesterfield and Notts County), it is not going to be a walk in the park for Southend to return any day soon.
Letters from Wiltshire #45 by wessex_exile
Tonight, Colchester United face Southend United in what may not necessarily be the most important game of our respective histories (though it’s certainly very close), but is almost certainly the most important Essex derby ever. However this season pans out, by the end of it there’ll either be only one team in Essex, or worst case scenario, none at all. If the U’s win, then Southend will be 9pts behind with just three games to go, and a minimum of a -12 goal difference to overturn if they want to overtake us. Certainly mathematically possible, but that would rely on a remarkable turnaround in their form, form that they’ve shown precious little sign of achieving so far this season. The stalking horse is Grimsby, with their game in hand, who have rather belatedly shown an improvement in form, so their match against automatic promotion chasing Morecambe tonight is equally important, particularly if we want to avoid the unthinkable, with both Essex clubs dropping out of the league.
Letters from Wiltshire #44 by wessex_exile
So here we are, as the nation mourns the passing of His Royal Highness, Duke of Edinburgh, the U’s face the first of two season-defining moments, with our late kick-off match at home to Walsall. Before then, no doubt many will have been focused on events elsewhere, not least the early kick-offs for Grimsby (at home to promotion-chasing Bolton Wanderers), and particularly Essex rivals Southend United, who faced a tricky visit to Exeter City – still very much in the hunt for at least a play-off spot. As I finalise this blog, I know that Grimsby have beaten Bolton 2-1, and Southend earned a credible 0-0 draw in the West Country. More to the point, the U’s will know this too. Whilst I can’t help but feel that will ought to be to our advantage, it surely must also put additional pressure on a squad whose confidence is paper-thin. We must hope that Hayden Mullins, assisted by Paul Tisdale, get their heads right, and send the lads out this evening fired up with self-belief.
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