By Paul Jones
Swansea City may have to put their faith in the hands of back-up goalkeeper Erwin Mulder to keep their promotion hopes alive.
Mulder – who has not started a game for the club for 16 months – is on stand-by to come in to the side at Nottingham Forest on Wednesday night for a match the club cannot afford to lose if they are to hold realistic hopes of making the play-offs.
The Swans have a fitness doubt over Freddie Woodman, who was forced off late on in the defeat to Leeds United last Sunday with a hip injury.
If Woodman fails to recover in time, then head coach Steve Cooper will turn to Mulder, even though the Dutchman had not seen any action this season until the final few minutes against Leeds.
The Swans are currently four points behind Cardiff City after the Bluebirds’ victory over Derby County on Tuesday night.
It means there is no margin for error for Cooper’s side who are also now two points behind Millwall.
If Swansea win at Forest, they can close the gap to sixth-placed Cardiff to one point, with two rounds of matches still to go.
Anything less and they will be relying on both Cardiff and Millwall to slip up in their remaining two games.
Cardiff have an awkward looking trip to Middlesbrough to negotiate, where their former manager Neil Warnock lies in wait, and then finish at home to strugglers Hull City.
After Forest, the Swans are at home to inconsistent Bristol City and finish with a trip to Reading.
Millwall appear to have the easier run in, with a visit to mid-table QPR, followed by a home game against out-of-form Huddersfield.
“It’s such an important time, but in the end we have to look after ourselves and not wait for others to give us a chance,” said Cooper.
“There is a lot we can take into the game on the back of a good performance against Leeds.
“We have to go into every game committed to the plans we have to win and, if we get it right, we will give ourselves every chance.
“We have to believe in what we do and give 100 per cent, and we will do that.”
The picture is changing with every game, we just have to try and win the rest of our games,” said Cooper.
“The dressing room was down after the Leeds game, as you would expect, but I could sense there is still a fire in the belly there.
“They know we deserved more, and we want to be able to keep those performance levels and take it into this game on Wednesday.
“We cannot change what has happened, no matter how painful. But you have a choice, you either lie down and cry or you take the attitude that you use it to make us stronger.
“That’s what we’ll be doing, and we’ll be going to the end, don’t worry about that.”