Luke Williams Says 50 Points Should Be Enough For Swansea City . . . But Demands 53

SWANSEA, WALES - APRIL 10: Liam Cullen of Swansea City celebrates his goal during the Sky Bet Championship match between Swansea City and Stoke City at the Swansea.com Stadium on April 10, 2024 in Swansea, Wales. (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Luke Williams Says 50 Points Should Be Enough For Swansea City . . . But Demands 53

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By Jacob Maddaford

Luke Williams agreed some of the pressure has eased on Swansea City and their relegation fears – but he is demanding his team back-up their victory over Stoke City with another this weekend.

The Swans head coach watched his side all but ensure their Championhsip survival after a convincing 3-0 home win on Wednesday night.

Liam Cullen opened the scoring in the first-half before a Matt Grimes penalty made it 2-0 after the break and the points were secured by Josh Key.

“We have 50 points and that will take some of the pressure off, but now we can try to make everyone happy on the weekend,” said Williams, whose team are at home to already-relegated Rotherham on Saturday.

“I was straight after the Middlesbrough game, the players took responsibility and were fantastic tonight.

“There has been something missing but tonight the intensity and aggression, all of that lovely stuff, we put back in and got a really great result.”

The Swans made a promising start to the game, with midfielder Jay Fulton hitting the post with a low shot from the corner of the six-yard box following great work from Jamie Paterson.

The home side would take the lead on 19 minutes after a clever free kick routine. Paterson’s low cross found Cullen, who scored his seventh goal of the season with a crisp finish.

Cullen then had the chance to double his tally for the night after a poor clearance. However, he fired comfortably over the bar.

The visitors gradually grew into the game, Bae Jun-Ho having a shot blocked by Harry Darling, and midfielder Wouter Berger headed just wide from a corner.

Stoke did have the ball in the back of the net through Niall Ennis, but their joy was short-lived as it was harshly ruled out for a foul on Swans goalkeeper Carl Rushworth. Replays suggested Rushworth had already lost control of the ball.

As the second half started, Swansea looked to re-assert their control. Paterson fired narrowly wide of the post in the opening three minutes of the half before the home side were awarded a penalty on 51 minutes.

Ollie Cooper was brought down by defender Luke McNally and after Cullen missed the side’s last penalty in the South Wales derby against Cardiff City, captain Grimes stepped up and fired into the roof of the net.

Cullen had a chance to make it 3-0 but his shot was deflected narrowly wide of Daniel Iversen’s goal.

Play was halted in the 61st minute as Swansea defender Harry Darling and Stoke winger Million Manhoef locked horns off the ball. Both players were booked by referee Keith Stroud.

Cooper was given a standing ovation as he was substituted for Jamal Lowe on 69 minutes, before Lowe was involved almost immediately. His good work down eventually led to him teeing up Key who put the result beyond doubt.

The substitute then audaciously attempted to score from just inside the centre circle, only for his attempt to go narrowly over and onto the roof of the net.

The victory means Swansea have finally hit 50 points this season – and that should mean safety – but things still look precarious for Stoke.

The Potters still sit only three points above the relegation zone in 19th place.

Stoke manager Steven Schumacher admitted: “It was a poor performance, we were beaten by the better team.

“I can accept one poor performance, but I can’t accept two. I think players, nowadays, don’t call each other out enough.”

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