Daniel James will be sent to Leeds next week – provided he is fit, Swansea City manager Graham Potter has insisted.
Wales winger James – who seemed destined to be sold on transfer deadline day, until he sat in a room at Elland Road waiting for a call that never came – made his first appearance since that fiasco in the Swans’ 1-0 win over Millwall.
He will make his next away at Leeds on Wednesday, according to Potter who says only injury or fatigue would result in the player’s absence.
“He’s available for selection for Leeds, but you just have to watch it with the three games in a week and how quickly he can recover because he sprints so much,” said Potter.
“He should be okay, and his performance was really, really good today.”
James was left out of last week’s defeat at Bristol City in order for him to settle his mind, rather than his body.
Brought back, he injected much needed pace into a Swansea side that should have made the game safe long before the end.
As it was, Millwall might well have snatched a draw late on but the Lions blew a number of good chances.
The result means the Swans stay six points off the play-offs, a not unbridgeable gap if they managed to put together another winning streak – although it will be harder now they have despatched Jefferson Montero, Tom Carroll and Wilfried Bony and replaced them with no-one at all.
After three players left on transfer deadline day, and when Swans chairman Huw Jenkins quit two days later, it suggested a club in crisis.
But George Byers’ first goal for the club quelled the mutinous atmosphere at the Liberty Stadium and lifted them to within two wins of the top six.
The day had begun with a protest march from the Swans supporters against the club’s American owners following their transfer window exodus and the subsequent resignation of Jenkins after 17 years at the helm.
Why do fans bother to do stuff like this? Why walk around in a futile gesture when they could organise themselves into much more meaningful action like refusing to spend money on club food, drink and merchandise?
Either way, Potter was pleased that the connection between supporters and players felt a lot more healthy after the game than beforehand.
“I feel proud for the players and supporters because it’s been a big week,” said Potter.
“You look at the age of the players, the stage of their careers, they’re just starting. It was a really hard fought win.
“I thought we deserved it overall, but at the same time we had to survive a few moments.
“Getting that maturity is all about the process of winning, losing, making mistakes and being successful, there is no shortcut to it.
“We have to go through what we’ve been through, the players are playing better football, whether that is being reflected in results is another thing because the Championship is so demanding. But the attitude they show daily gives me a sense we can carry on improving.”
Byers’ goal was worth his two-year wait. His right foot shot was blocked, but when he struck the rebound with his left from the edge of the box it flew into the top corner.
“I thought he was really good, he had calmness on the ball and you could see his quality,” added Potter.
“He’s an intelligent footballer and it was nice for him to get his goal, it really topped it off, and overall I thought he was really good.”
Millwall boss Neil Harris admitted he was just as irritated by the manner of the goal conceded as by the defeat itself.
“I would never expect my team to concede from a set-play at Swansea, I have to be frank about it,” he admitted.
“I’m disappointed with the players is in that respect. It should be us causing the problems at the other end.”