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Former Swansea City Striker Viktor Gyokeres Goes From Misfit To Maestro And Is Wembley Bound

By Paul Jones

Former Swansea City striker Viktor Gyokeres is heading to Wembey and a dream Premier League ticket showdown for Coventry City against Luton Town.

Gyokeres – who made just a dozen appearances for the Swans in the 2020-21 season – helped Coventry beat Middlesbrough 1-0 in their Championship play-off semi-final second leg at the Riverside Stadium on Wednesday.

It gave them a 1-0 aggregate victory and means they will play Luton – managed by Welsh boss Rob Edwards – for a place in the Premier League on May 27.

Gyokeres spent four months on loan at the Swans from Brighton in an undistinguished spell that earned him just two Championship starts and one goal in the FA Cup under then head coach Steve Cooper.

But the Swede has been a revelation at Coventry with 40 goals in 94 appearances and it was his assist that secured the Sky Blues’ place at Wembley.


Victory was sealed by the only goal of a tense 180-minute shoot-out when Gustavo Hamer fired into the top corner after City had pounced on a loose pass by Ryan Giles and Gyokeres had rounded keeper Zack Steffen.

Coventry boss Mark Robins will be proud of his players whatever happens at Wembley after seeing them book a highly unexpected Championship play-off final with Luton.

Robins agreed a new four-year deal with the club he took over in 2017 on the eve of Wednesday night’s victory at Middlesbrough which kept alive their hopes of making it all the way from League Two to the Premier League.

A thrilled Robins said: “We’ve beaten Middlesbrough over two games to get to Wembley and the final, I’m really proud of the players regardless of what happens.

“They’ve all worked as hard as they possibly can, they all try their best every day, so for that, I’ll always be proud. That’s all you can do.

“Whatever happens next happens, but it won’t be for the want of trying, that’s for sure.

“It was unbelievable, the effort they put in, the quality they’ve shown at times in the game against a really, really top opponent, is phenomenal.

“To get to a Wembley final again, the third one since I came back here, is just incredible. Everybody deserves it, the work that has gone into it this year and tonight is phenomenal.
“They got their just rewards, but we’ve got to go to Wembley and win. That’s absolutely the aim.”


Boro belatedly launched an all-out assault, during which substitute Matt Crooks headed home from an offside position and Cameron Archer stabbed over the crossbar, but the visitors, who have spent 22 long years outside the top division, held firm to extend their fairytale season.

Asked about Hamer’s contribution, Robins revealed he had undergone a painkilling injection before the game.

He said: “He was phenomenal. I’m surprised he didn’t faint – he had an injection in his knee before the game so he could play. I don’t know what was worse, whether it was the injury or the needle going in.

“He was brilliant. When Vik’s gone through and he’s taken it round the goalkeeper and it falls then to Gustavo, you just breathe out because he just does it every day.”

For Boro head coach Michael Carrick, an evening which promised so much ended in bitter disappointment, although he urged his players to learn from the experience.

Carrick said: “Hopefully it’s the start of something. That’s up to us to make the next step, as hard as it is right now. It’s a tough one to take, it’s a tough experience for some of the boys.

“Most of the time I’ve felt through my career in life in general the tough moments are the ones that you end up learning from and coming back stronger when you come through it, so as tough as it is now and horrible to go through – and we’ve got a lot of time to think about it over the summer – we’ve got to come back stronger.”


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