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Steve Cooper Admits Swans Now Looking To “Sneak In” Through The Back Door

By David Williams

Steve Cooper has admitted his Swansea City team are now relying on “sneaking” into the Championship play-offs through the stumbles of others.

The Swans head coach admitted deep frustration at his team’s failure to win at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night after they twice led before being forced to settle for a 2-2 draw.

The point leaves Cooper’s side in eighth place, three points behind Cardiff City, with just two games remaining.

Millwall are between the Welsh rivals in seventh, a point better off than the Swans.

It means Swansea are relying on Cardiff to lose one of their remaining matches to either Middlesbrough or Hull, or draw both, and for Millwall to also drop points against QPR and Huddersfield.

If that happens, then the Swans might creep into sixth spot if they beat Bristol City and Reading.

“We have not given up, we will keep fighting,” said Cooper.

“We will look to beat Bristol City at the weekend and see where that takes us.”


“I just think that the way this season has gone, I don’t think it’s going to be as straightforward as everybody winning their games and it finishes as it is.

“What we’ve got to do is make sure we win our games, get the points and try and sneak in if we can.”

A brace from Sammy Ameobi helped the Reds come back from behind twice and, by doing so, deny Swansea the win they had desperately hoped for to boost their own hopes of a top six finish.

Ameobi found the bottom corner of the net from the edge of the box either side of half time.

Both goals saw goalkeeper Erwin Mulder – who was making his first start of the season due to Freddie Woodman’s hip injury – surprisingly beaten from distance.

Ameobi has a reputation for many things after a much-travelled career, but being a deadly marksman through long distance shooting is not one of them.

The first came after Swansea had taken the lead through Rhian Brewster in the eighth minute and again after Andre Ayew had restored Swansea’s lead in the 45th minute from the penalty spot.

Ayew had been fouled by Ryan Yates, although the incident seemed to have taken place outside the box.


Swansea finished the game with 10 men following Kyle Naughton’s late red card.

A point left Forest in fifth place with a five-point advantage over Millwall in seventh and with two games left to play.

Cooper added: “To come here – one of the toughest away games of the season in the Championship – and lead twice but not win, is frustrating.

“I thought we started the game really well and we were good for the 1-0. If anything I thought we could go and get another to take the initiative.

“We got ourselves back in front for a second time by getting into areas where we could hurt them. They looked nervous at the back at times. I know there were arguments about whether it was a penalty or not but it was given and we were ahead again.

“We worked on not letting them score goals from outside the box in the build-up, so for them to score twice like that was a big frustration.

“The players are quiet in the dressing room, they are frustrated. I cannot ask for any more effort.

“Both sides tried to play. I am just frustrated that we did not win, I am not frustrated with the performance.

The Swans return to action against Bristol City at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday before facing Reading at the Madejski Stadium four days later in their final game of the regular season.


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