Swansea City produced arguably their best 45 minutes of football this season at home against Stoke City on Tuesday night but the absolute opposite could be said for today’s display at QPR.
Today’s 4-0 defeat, which could have been even worse given some of the chances QPR also missed, means we’ve now lost our last seven away games in a row.
In those seven games, we’ve scored only three goals, failed to score in four of them and conceded 17 goals. It’s fair to say that we’ve only performed well in two of those, the narrow 1-0 defeat against leaders Norwich City and the 2-1 loss at Nottingham Forest where let slip a 1-0 lead, conceding twice from corners.
Within five minutes today at QPR, we were 2-0 down. Defending corners, particularly away from home, is a massive weakness for us that needs improving as once again we conceded from the first corner of the game. Another defensive mistake gave Hemed an opportunity to double his side’s lead. He found the net again by the 17th minute as the game looked completely lost for the Swans.
We’ve got a set way of playing, out from the back and looking to make passes through and in behind opposition lines but even Graham Potter himself has now admitted that they need to consider how play away from home to improve results on the road.
“We don’t need to throw out everything that we are good at, but clearly away from home we need to find a way (to get results),”
Against QPR’s high press, we couldn’t cope with the constant pressure and in similar fashion to the 3-1 defeat at Sheffield Wednesday, we found ourselves 3-0 down at the break with no idea how to change the dynamic of the match in our favour.
Talking of his side’s defending at set pieces, Potter said:
“You can talk about everything you want in between the boxes but we won’t be able to achieve what we want to achieve if we don’t get better in those situations.
“So, again, it wasn’t good enough.
“We have to try and find a way to be better at that because clearly, it’s an area that will hold us back if we don’t improve.”
There’s been talk this week about a possible late play-off push but that required us to win every remaining game. Those very slim hopes at best were ended today in embarrassing fashion. We saw plenty of evidence though as to why exactly we find ourselves competing in mid-table rather than nearer the play-offs. We can’t perform so impressively at home and then churn out these sub-par displays if we want to be pushing for the top six. Good sides find a way to keep things tight at the back at the very least on their travels but defensively today we looked extremely vulnerable, conceding four goals against a side who hadn’t won in the last 16.
Lets hope Graham Potter can find a solution to our away woes but equally as important is our set piece defending. It’s cost us a number of points this season and it gave QPR the lead and a platform to work from within three minutes today.