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Sunderland 1 v 2 Swansea City
SkyBet Championship
Saturday, 24th February 2024 Kick-off 15:00
Swansea City : It seems everyone knows there has to be change
Wednesday, 21st Feb 2024 08:00 by Keith Haynes & Liam Walters

It does seem like the Swans meet a team who have just sacked their manager every month. It isn’t so, but it does seem that way. Michael Beale was relieved of his duties as manager at Sunderland this week to cap what has been a pretty up and down managerial career to date. In fact he has been a manager on around eighty occasions for three different clubs !

Yes, he had a seventy two percent win rate at Glasgow Rangers, and did well at QPR, to an extent, but he is quickly finding out his managerial style is rubbing people up the wrong way. You can be certain that the Sunderland hierarchy have received information from certain players that they have no confidence in him. Not unlike Swansea players did when Michael Laudrup was at the club for a few weeks. That’s where the similarities end though between Beale and Laudrup.

The Black Cats interim head coach is Mike Dodds, a thirty seven year old who has had to make his second step up to cover for a sacked manager this season. He did the same in December after Tony Mowbray was sacked with the club ninth in the league (a very odd decision) Dodds took charge of three games before Beale was announced. He won two of them. He is very inexperienced but Sunderland fans will warm to him if he delivers what can only be described as ‘football at polar opposites’ to Michael Beale.

It’s a big club offering a big challenge.

Ex Swansea City player Owain Tudor Jones talking on ‘Y Coridor Ansicrwydd podcast’ this week believes the real tests for Luke Williams start this weekend and from there on in. "When he got the job, I looked at those games and thought ‘all the best son!’ because they had Leeds, Southampton, Leicester and Bournemouth in the FA Cup. That was a tough start. That’s gone and they didn’t get much success. The season starts for real for him now. He would’ve got a bit of leeway during those games, because there wouldn’t have been much expectation. Now, the results and performances have to improve or they will be dragged right into a relegation battle.” Owain has built himself a good career commenting on Welsh football in the main, I like his viewpoint, and most certainly can’t fall out with everything he has said on the Swans. Couple that with the games ahead, they are all going to be against teams no higher than eleventh in the league currently.

Thing is, this next batch of games are hardly easy. We looked at this the other day, however here are the next six games.

The feature connected to this is below-

⚽️ Is this all avoidable ?

These games are not in any way easier, the two derby games especially. Four out of the next six games are away at Sunderland, Watford, Bristol City and Sheffield Wednesday. The other two are at home to Blackburn Rovers and Cardiff City. Not teams as good as we have seen recently like Leeds United, Ipswich Town, Southampton and Leicester City, but definitely in need of points. I fail to see where the Swans can rebuild this last part of the season as they did after Millwall away last season in March. There’s no way the Swans will win all of these six games, well, wouldn’t we all be delighted if they did ? Some would sign up for five points from the available eighteen as long as three were from the Cardiff game.

The Swans have again wheeled out a few players on the official site saying the same things as they have all season, and of course last season until it started going right. Josh Tymon stated yesterday, “Once we get used to the way of working and what the gaffer wants us to do, I think things will click and performances will improve, but we have to make sure that is the case. We are not a million miles off, we have had a tough run and we are getting used to a style of play we want to have moving forward. The lads who came in during January have giving us something a bit different and we just need to improve over this last third of the season. The manager wants that high intensity and the full-backs to drive forward and break the lines, from my perspective that suits me perfectly.”

Josh is right, and we are certain things will look better over the coming games.

There have been other players making comments, but it’s pretty much the same old stuff we’ve all read before. All we can hope for is a quick upturn and start looking up instead of down. In Luke we have a rougher edge to coaching ‘possession football with intensity’ than we have seen before. These are words we have heard for a few seasons now. The players have totally bought in to the head coach’s philosophy, and they all love working with the new manager. Ask any player off the record. At least with that solidarity there’s hope we are going to see some exciting football in the coming weeks.

However, whether that’s on Saturday at Sunderland or the week after against Blackburn remains to be seen, but at least now there’s a tiny chink of light coming towards us.

Sunderland v Swansea City kicks off at 3pm this coming Saturday.

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