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Barnsley 0 v 1 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Monday, 17th May 2021 Kick-off 20:15
Conor Hourihane wants to be a big part of Swansea City’s success
Thursday, 13th May 2021 11:11 by Keith Haynes

Since January Conor Hourihane has wowed swans fans with his dead ball ability, frustrated many with his defensive work and completely baffled even the best in Alan Curtis with his work rate in games. The boy from Bandon, Eire needs to step up on Monday evening for the swans, it’s as simple as that.

Conor Hourihane was hailed as the swans signing of the season back in January and came with many Aston Villa fans wanting him to stay at Villa Park. You can’t fault Hourihane’s commitment to wanting to play, and in the four months he has been at Swansea he has continuously stated he wouldn’t want to be anywhere else. His first four games were almost faultless, scoring goals and giving Steve Cooper some form of different option in games. For me it was when the swans took a 4-1 battering at Huddersfield that chinks in his armour began to appear. It was mentioned on here by David Cornish our regular sports writer that Hourihane offered little if anything when the swans were under pressure at the back. That’s true, and you could even place him at fault for some of the goals, his positioning was poor and his effort to get back meant he was still trotting in to position when Huddersfield scored.

Conor Hourihane is obviously an attacking midfield player, he requires time on the ball ( he won’t get that on Monday ) and players around him who are on the same wavelength. He can be ponderous fitting right in to Steve Cooper’s Swansea Way, and for me he was so anonymous in some recent games I forgot he was on the pitch. However, he has a very clear footballing ethic, a player who has bags of experience and the intelligence to pass that on to his peers at Swansea. These are great qualities and we respect that. It’s very clear that the championship is a completely different ball game for Conor than the premier league, and we agree he needs to adapt, but is this the right time to help him do that going in to the most important two games of the season ?

Conor is clear. He’s reached the final on all three previous appearances in the competition, winning two of those with Barnsley and Aston Villa.

“Wherever I have played I care about the club I represent,” says Hourihane, who has scored five goals in 21 appearances for the Swans. Obviously, I want to do well from a selfish point of view, but I also want to make sure I help that club achieve what it wants to achieve and be successful. I know what the goal is here, I know how great promotion is, and I know what is at the end of the road and I want to get this club get over that line. I love it when things are this way. It was the same for me at Barnsley and it has been the same almost throughout my time at Villa.

“It is exciting. Your career is short, so you always want to be involved in a team that is striving for something. You want games to have something on them, to be important and be a factor in what the future of the club holds. I know I am on loan, but I want to make a difference here, I want to help this club get to where it wants to be. That’s why I will always take these situations over playing 10 games at the end of the year in mid-table. Don’t get me wrong, you always want to win and perform, but knowing you are fighting for promotion is a different feeling”

Hourihane hasn’t been a success from day one, and despite his clear ability at Villa and before that Barnsley, he started out at Sunderland. It was good grounding, then he followed manager Roy Keane to Ipswich before signing for Plymouth Argyle. At Plymouth he started to hone in on his game, but like at Swansea after his magnificent start it all took time. Some would point to Conor taking many years of hard work and commitment right up until he led Barnsley to a play off victory and then absolute success at Aston Villa as his turning point. It’s been a long journey to find himself where he is today. We are extremely impressed with his attitude, we understand he isn’t a dogged midfielder with attitude, that’s fine, We know what he is, a visionary on the pitch, attempting many match winning passes and obviously free kicks. He can and has turned games for Swansea City, and that’s what we want from him on Monday and the following Saturday.

We want the Conor Hourihane who backs up his words and is a game changer, a man who is remembered for being just that. A winner and a leader. We’ve seen it in him already. The next two games will define this, Conor will be involved, so we want the real Conor Hourihane please, the one who changes games and wins things for his team.

That Conor Hourihane.

How do you view Conor Hourihane since January, and can he really launch the swans back in to the Premier League ?

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All photographs licensed from Reuters



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ReslovenSwan1 added 12:40 - May 13
Barnsley press high and are very energetic. Despite fitness and substitutions very fe tems can keep up the tempo. They tend to fall off after 07-75mins or so. I would suggest Swansea deal with the storm with Fulton DSmaith and Grmes and bring on Hourhaine after 70 minsin both games. If the mnager was a real gambler he could start with Cullen and also bring on Ayew after 65 mins.
1

KeithHaynes added 14:13 - May 13
Ayew will start, if we lost, Cooper would be heavily criticised on here.
Cooper doesn’t strike me as a gambler.
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