Connor Roberts has admitted both he and Swansea City have gone off the boil as the season approaches its climax.
In an honest assessment, not couched in the usual bland clichés, the Wales defender has stated simply that his own individual form and that of his team has slipped in recent weeks.
The Swans travel to managerless West Brom this evening, having lost four of their last six matches in the Championship – a sequence partially disguised by their run to the FA Cup quarter-finals and the excitement of a quarter-final tie at home to Manchester City this weekend.
Yet such has been the inconsistency of the clubs above them that a victory tonight would close the gap between Swansea and the play-offs places to just five points, with 10 matches still remaining.
Roberts, though, is realistic about the club’s recent performances as well as his own and said: “I don’t really feel I have been firing lately.
“I think at the start of the season I was playing well, I scored a couple of goals and was getting forward a lot more. But I think as a team we had maybe stalled a little bit in recent weeks, and my performance has done so along with that.
“I have not been as good as I would like and that means I have been disappointed lately but it’s about getting on with it, keeping a smile on my face and making sure this does not last long and I can forget about it and move on to the next game and performing to the level I know I can.
“I can’t deny I have been disappointed with how I am performing, but you have to keep on plugging away and hopefully the good times will come back.
“I have to push myself, you cannot settle for less. I have to be able to feel pleased with how I am performing, and even at the start of the season I wanted to improve and get better.
Roberts, though, has quickly gone from a fringe player the club to one of their most valuable and his worth for club and country is underlined by the fact that the game tonight will be his 43rd so far this season.
He was named in Ryan Giggs’ squad for Wales’ upcoming Euro 2020 qualifier and can expect to start against Slovakia after ousting Chris Gunter from his long established right-back spot.
Before then, however, Roberts is set to be busy enough with West Brom and then the likes of Raheem Sterling and David Silva on Saturday.
West Brom will be under the charge of their caretaker manager James Shan at The Hawthorns after the Baggies sacked Darren Moore on Saturday night despite being fourth in the table.
Talks with Albion’s initial target Slavisa Jokanovic remain ongoing, Preston’s Alex Neil is also under consideration, and Shan is only looking at the short term.
“At the minute, it’s been said I’ll take Swansea,” revealed Shan. “As a staff we’ve had to plan for two games.
“The international break is timely, and gives a chance to breath and reflect.
“Obviously we’ve got the main focus on Swansea but one eye on Brentford. As a staff we will plan for both those games until told otherwise.
“The goal has always been to gain promotion. The players in the dressing room are more than capable of that.
“Whoever comes in will inherit a fantastic work ethic with fantastic quality. Fuse those two together and you’ve got a powerful team.”