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Swansea City’s Newcastle Loan Star Freddie Woodman Admits: I Hate Football Without Fans

Freddie Woodman has admitted that fan-less football is leaving him cold, but it won’t stop him freezing out more opponents in Swansea City’s promotion bid.

The Swans keeper kept a second successive clean sheet in the 2-0 home victory over Blackburn Rovers at the weekend which moved his team to second place in the Championship.

Woodman – in his second season on loan from Newcastle – kept an impressive 12 shut-outs last season and the Swans are currently the joint tightest defensive unit in the division having conceded five goals in nine games.

But Woodman has revealed that however many saves he makes, the fact that supporters are not there to react, is proving difficult to take.

“I have got used to it, but I won’t lie – I hate it,” said Woodman, the godson of England manager Gareth Southgate.

“There have been so many games last season and this, when the matches would have been so different with fans. You can’t lie.

“It’s horrible to watch, if I’m being honest. I don’t like watching football now. It’s just not the same without fans.

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“I can’t wait until the fans come back. I love playing here with the fans. I loved it when we travelled away and you could hear them. I just hope they can come back soon and we can all hear that roar once again.”

That looks some way off, but at least for Woodman’s sake Swansea have channeled their frustrations into growing mean and hard to break down.

Woodman only needed to be solid and dependable as head coach Steve Cooper’s men made it back-to-back wins to cut the gap to Reading at the top of the table.

The 23-year-old was safe as houses to deny Corry Evans, Joe Rankin-Costello and Adam Armstrong, while Swansea seized their own chances with headed goals from Ben Cabango and Andre Ayew in either half.

“We won ugly, I guess, and that’s what you have to do sometimes in the Championship,” added Woodman.

“All the defenders are playing with confidence and we’re keeping the ball out of the back of the net, which helps.

“I always thought coming here was the right decision. I loved it here last year and it was a massive thing for me to come back.


“All I wanted to do in the summer, was to get the deal done and come back here.”

Woodman believes he made the right call to stay at Swansea for a second season in order to fulfil his dream of playing in the Premier League.

The Croydon-born keeper could have gone back to Newcastle, or out on loan elsewhere, but reckoned another year on the south Wales coast can take him to the top flight.

“Last year was my first season the Championship and looking back I felt I could give a lot more.

“I learned so much from last season and hopefully I’m bringing it into this season.

“Working with Steve Cooper has been massive. All I wanted to do in the summer, was to get the deal done and come back here.

“One of the big reasons for that was to be able to work with the manager again and with the goalkeeping coach, Martyn Margetson.”

Now, Woodman, 23, believes the Swans have the staying power to emerge from a squeezed season to return to the top flight.

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“There are a lot of good players who have come in, but we lost a few good players as well.

“But I think so long as we keep defending like we are defending, and scoring goals, then we have every chance.

“It’s great to play behind those lads because you know they’re going to give everything for you.”

Woodman and the Swans now face a tougher looking mission away to Brentford tomorrow (Tues), the club that ended their play-off dreams in the summer at the semi-final stage.

The Bees lost 1-0 at the Liberty Stadium but scored three times past Erwin Mulder, the Dutch keeper who stood in for Woodman when he was injured.

“We’ll go to Brentford on Tuesday and we’ll have a game plan and try and get a win,” added Woodman.

“It’s a ruthless league, so we have to go full steam ahead into Brentford.”


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