Steve Cooper has told his Swansea City players it’s time to “man up” and get their Championship promotion bid back on the road.
The Swans have been blown off course with just one victory in their last five matches and just a single point from their last three.
It means they host QPR at the Liberty Stadium tonight, having slipped back to ninth place in the table, four points adrift of the play-off places.
Cooper was frustrated by the way his side threw away a 2-1 lead to lose 3-2 at home to Derby County last Saturday and said: “We need to be strong enough to man up and dust ourselves off to get our head around the next two games.
“It’s QPR first and we need to stand up and be counted. I’m never going to be joyful after a defeat. We lost a game of football and it was in our hands. We let Derby off the hook.
“I feel we owe ourselves one – I’m not interested so much in any opposition. We need to get back to winning ways and that’s what we’re going to do.”
The Swans’ league position could look a whole lot more promising if they overcome a Rangers side that have lost four of their last five matches.
But the last time the teams met – in the FA Cup last month – Cooper suffered his biggest defeat since taking charge after being on the wrong end of a 5-1 hammering.
He added: They’re a good team and play in a good way. Like always, we’ll be aware of their strengths and we’ve got to bounce back and show a lot better aspects of the game. If we do that we’ll be in a good place.
“I’ve not looked at the league table to be honest. There will still be twists and turns, but we’re getting close to countdown now. The only way you get close to the play-offs is by winning games. That’s got to be our focus.”
Swansea midfielder Yan Dhanda – who scored the equaliser to make it 1-1 against Derby – says he and his team-mates simply have to get back to winning ways.
“The games are coming thick and fast now so we have a chance to try and make amends and get over the disappointment on Tuesday,” he said.
“We have to improve on the performance against Derby and get the three points, there’s no two ways about it. I thought we were the better team when we came out in the second half and we looked confident when we went 2-1 up.
“Unfortunately, we let it slip and let in two soft goals which we should have stopped so I’m quite disappointed.”
Cooper is waiting to see the extent of George Byers’ ankle injury before finalising his team selection. The midfielder was forced off early against Derby, while Bersant Celina and Mike van der Hoorn are also doubts.
QPR boss Mark Warburton could give Spurs loanee Jack Clarke a first start to try and shake up the attack.
Swansea City are unbeaten in seven home league matches against QPR (W4 D3) since a 2-1 defeat back in January 1981.
QPR have lost five of their last seven league matches against Swansea (W1 D1) including a 3-1 defeat earlier this season.
Swansea’s defeat against Derby at the weekend ended a five-game unbeaten run at the Liberty Stadium in the Championship (W3 D2).
QPR have won just one of their last 11 away league matches in Wales (D4 L6), losing the last three in a row.
QPR striker Jordan Hugill has been directly involved in four goals in his two appearances against Swansea in all competitions for the Hoops (3 goals, 1 assist).