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Luke Williams Questions If Swansea City Players Are Up For The Fight

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By Paul Jones

Luke Williams questioned his Swansea City players’ appetite for the fight after their home defeat to QPR.

The Swans lost 1-0 – only their second defeat in seven matches, but the nature of their performance left their head coach underwhelmed.

“You have to start the game ferociously,” said Williams.

“You have to try and bloody the other fighter’s nose at the earliest opportunity. We didn’t do that today.

“At the beginning of the game you have the most energy. So if you start slow it’s not a physical thing, it’s a mentality thing. I need to try and challenge them on that.”

A 71st-minute volley from a corner by defender Steve Cook gave the Hoops a priceless victory in their fight against relegation from the Championship.

Rangers are now six points clear of the relegation zone, a point behind the Swans, yet neither club can count themselves safe from the drop just yet.

And Williams’ frustration was evident on an afternoon when his side dictated much of the game at the Swansea.com Stadium.

“We should have got something, but football keeps you honest. If you don’t take your chances and you switch off from a set-piece you are always vulnerable,” he added.

“We became a cliche today. We started slowly and then became more dominant. But domination counts for little if you don’t convert your chances.

“We have a lot of openings that don’t amount to anything. We’re happy, we’re enthusiastic and moving in the right direction. But we have to be more clinical and better at finishing.”

The home side grew more into the game as the first half progressed.

They came close to the opening goal when a fizzing Josh Tymon cross was volleyed just over his own bar by Rangers centre-half Jake Clarke-Salter.

While Swansea began to dominate possession and territory, Rangers fashioned the best opportunity in the 36th minute.

Swans defender Harry Darling squandered possession on halfway, allowing Ilias Chair to launch a counter-attack.

Midfielder Joe Hodge’s first effort on goal was blocked, but the Swans failed to clear and only escaped when Chair’s weak effort from six yards hit Darling on the goal-line.

Tymon stung the palms of QPR goalkeeper Asmir Begovic with a 20-yard volley just before half-time, but neither side could force a breakthrough before the interval.

The hosts increased the pressure during the early second-half exchanges and should have been ahead before the hour mark.

Swansea captain Matt Grimes hit the bar with a beautifully struck free-kick before midfielder Ollie Cooper scuffed a gilt-edged chance from 15 yards.

The Hoops sat deeper as the clock ticked down, looking content to take a point.

The Swans continued to knock on the door, but they found a clinical edge in the final third elusive.

Then, with 20 minutes remaining, they were hit by a classic sucker punch.

QPR, ever more reliant on the pace of substitute striker Sinclair Armstrong, won a corner from a rare attack.

Lucas Andersen’s deep delivery was headed back across goal by full-back Jimmy Dunne for unmarked Cook to plant a side-foot volley into the net.

Swansea threatened an equaliser without creating anything clear cut to complete a desperately frustrating day for the hosts.

QPR’s manager Marti Cifuentes said: “All I know is we need more points when I look at the table.

“We are in a good moment, but at this stage of the season we need to be humble. Until it’s 100 per cent certain we will not stop.

“I am proud and happy about the work the guys put in. Swansea have quality players and are difficult to play against. But our goal came at a great time.

“We started the game well, got into some good situations and created some good chances in the first 10 minutes. Then we started to sit deeper and deeper and we had to make some adjustments at half-time.

“After we went ahead it was about understanding what we needed to do to win. We did a very good job defending the lead.”

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