In what is certainly another massive game against Portsmouth this Saturday, the pressure may have eased slightly for Brendan's men.
“What the...?” you may ask as your pointer hovers over the X in top right corner of your screen.
Keep listening. I genuinely feel the pressure on the Swans to put in a massive performance is slightly less than in previous weeks. Don't get me wrong, this is not the time for the team to take games casually, but because the play-offs are now where their promotion hopes lie (with the auto-promotion places more than likely going to Norwich or Cardiff), the Swans have a focused date of May 30th to aim towards.
In fact, so long as the Swans claim seven points from their last four games, they will get into the play-offs. I feel if they now chase an auto-promotion spot they are aiming too high. The team had the chance to remain in 2nd, and even chase the top spot, but lost their nerve slightly a few weeks back.
This isn't to say they shouldn't go for the win tomorrow and for the following three games, but by mentally taking some pressure off, the team can play their brand of smooth, fast football without having to worry about conceding the odd goal. Naturally the pressure will be piled back on during the play-offs, but at least they will be there, instead of slipping out at the last moment, like last season.
These are only the ideas of one man, and naturally may not be the philosphy of the team, players or any other supporter. Just like to throw that out there.
The next four games may now be the last time Brendan Rodgers can play around a little to figure out what his best, play-off winning team is and, more of an issue it seems, what his best substitution options are. Who replaces Dyer or Sinclair if they come off due to fatigue? Moore isn't working on the wing, and neither is Priskin. Play Borini on the wing? What about using Rangel as a winger and Tate as LB? As I've said in past blogs, without Dyer and Sinclair out wide, the Swans don't seem to function properly and this needs to be changed now.
With all this idea in mind, let's have a little preview of Saturday's game vs. Portsmouth:
What results mean:
A win is still very important. All three points could see the Swans back in 4th, so long as Reading lose.
A draw now would still see the ForzaSwansea “seven points in four games” idea work out. A draw would see the Swans remain in 5th with 71 points.
A loss wouldn't actually change much either: Swansea would hold onto their 5th place spot as Leeds are too far behind to overtake them at this stage.
Betting on the game?
It's been a while since Swansea have walked away with three points on the road. I feel it will happen on Saturday, and am predicting 1-0 to Swansea, Borini to score.
This isn't the ideal way to finish the season, but for a manager new to the club, Rodgers has really brought the team up to a different level. This time last year we were umm-ing and ahh-ing over who to play up front. Kuqi, Pintado or overweight Trundle. Depressing options. Just think how exciting things have become in the last season! It's a joy to watch and, whatever happens in the next month, you know you'll always get value for money with Swansea City!