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Swans Sunk Again But Steve Cooper Insists: Bring On Cardiff City . . . Quickly

By Chris Lomas

Steve Cooper has admitted Sunday’s high noon showdown with Cardiff City cannot come soon enough after his Swansea City team continued their dismal run at home with a humiliating 3-0 defeat to Brentford.

The sinking Swans have now won only one of their last eight matches and after being top of the Championship when they last won at the Liberty Stadium in August, they have now dropped out of the play-off places.

The timing could not have been worse in one sense for Cooper, as they face Cardiff in the first derby for five years, at home on Sunday.

But Cooper insisted he is relishing a chance to make amends in the high profile clash and said: “The good thing is the next game is a home game so we have got a chance to put it right. That’s what we want to do – we want to face up to things and not hide away and get over barriers. One of those is winning a game at home.

“It’s only a few days until the next game. Tonight is done. It’s disappointing and it will hurt for a little bit but we have to get on with it.

“It’s a sell-out. It’s a big game we know that. I am just pleased we are at home whoever we are playing so we can face up to things and get over some hurdles.”

Swansea had only picked up two wins in the last seven in the Championship before this latest defeat, both away from home.

They started well but were sloppy in possession, giving the ball away cheaply for all three of Brentford’s goals.

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They also lacked creativity going forward, struggling to make anything of note that tested Brentford keeper David Raya until late on.

Said Benrahma opened the scoring for the visitors, before a Jake Bidwell an own goal made it 2-0. Bryan Mbeumo added a third mid-way through the second half, leaving the disgruntled Swans supporters to make their feelings known.

Cooper added: “It was disappointing. I am not going to hide away from a poor scoreline at home. Three-nil is never a good thing in any way, shape or form.

“They were three really disappointing goals we conceded. The first one summed up our defending in the first half, we were way too passive.

“If you are like that at this level you will get punished, and we have made two big errors for the second and third goals. So, you go 3-0 down and it’s a tough ask to get back into it.

“We created chances before the first goal, and certainly in second half, but it ended up being too much to do.”

“Tonight was different to previous games, where we conceded late on. I don’t think it’s a pattern in terms of how games have gone.

“We particularly fell short with our defending throughout the pitch, not just in the back four and around our goal. If you do that you concede goals and we got punished for it.

“I said to the players in the dressing room, it is done, it is disappointing and it hurts.

For all of Swansea’s faults, Brentford looked dangerous all night and should be encouraged by their display as they make their push towards the play-off places. Manager Thomas Frank will be delighted with his side, who conceded few chances, and were clinical.

Ollie Watkins stood out for the Bees, the forward who has been mooted for a move to the Premier League in January, and looked a threat all game.

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Swansea made five changes to the side that drew 1-1 with Barnsley on Saturday but they looked disrupted by the number of changes as the first half developed, struggling to impose any real authority on the game.

The Bees broke the deadlock on the 29th minute after some good play by Watkins down the right. Kamohelo Mokotjo released Benrahma on the left who curled the ball into the top corner. It was the winger’s first goal of the season.

Brentford continued to frustrate Swansea, before the Swans conceded a calamitous second goal. Kristoffer Peterson gave the ball away on the halfway line, Watkins broke away and released Bryan Mbeumo before former Brentford man Bidwell’s prod directed the ball past his own keeper.

Swansea looked bereft of confidence as boos greeted the home team at half-time.

Looking to respond in the second half, Swansea brought on Bersant Celina and George Byers for Yan Dhanda and Jay Fulton.

It didn’t get any better for Steve Cooper’s side, however, as Mbeumo made it 3-0, making space down Brentford’s right before unleashing a powerful strike into the bottom corner.

It marked two in two for the Frenchman, rewarding Thomas Frank’s faith in starting the youngster after he scored against Millwall on Saturday.

Cooper looked unimpressed with his side, cutting a forlorn figure on the touchline throughout the game.

Borja Baston was hauled off for Sam Surridge just before the 70 minute mark, but it failed to make any difference.

Swansea are now left with more questions than answers as the pressure starts to build on them before Sunday.


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