Date: 17th July 2019 at 1:34pm
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Swansea City continued their pre-season preparations with an emphatic 6-1 win at National League side Yeovil Town on Tuesday night.
Steve Cooper named another strong line-up for their third friendly of the Summer and you would hope that the side that starts on the opening day of the season is not too dissimilar to the one fielded at Huish Park.

Nordfeldt

Roberts – van der Hoorn – Rodon – Bidwell

Fulton – Grimes

Dyer – Celina – Routledge

McBurnie

The Swans got off to lightening start and were quickly on the front foot, showing some excellent, quick and free-flowing attacking football with good movement and rotations that proved too difficult for Yeovil to cope with.

Routledge, who was rotating between wide and central positions found himself in a central position and played a first time ball through for Celina to run on to in behind the last defender. Celina tucked the ball past the goalkeeper to give us the lead.

Moments later, we saw the goal of the game as Jay Fulton was given far too much time and space on the ball from 25 yards so he let fly, curling a ball over the goalkeeper and into the top left corner. That was to be the first of three goals from the fringe midfielder who is still looking to earn himself a regular first-team place.

Both full-backs were encouraged to get forward and support the attacking moves. Bidwell was asked to play a lot of crosses last season at QPR but it would appear that his role will change here under Cooper. Playing more inter-changing passes and link-up play, he found himself in space cutting inside down the left but when a shooting opportunity was available, his cutback pass inside the box was intercepted.

Disappointingly, we conceded yet another goal from a set-piece and in similar fashion to the one at Crawley Town last weekend. An in-swinging cross was curled in, not a single Swansea player could make the aerial clearance as Bradbury headed home past Nordfeldt.

Celina almost restored our two-goal lead with a 20-yard shot that came back off the inside of the post. That 2-goal lead was restored though and it was Fulton again who tapped home from close range after McBurnie’s header was parried low.

Another fast-paced attacking forward move saw the Swans queuing up to score and with plenty of space inside the penalty area, the ball was squared to Celina but it tame effort was saved low by the goalkeeper.

As is always the case with these friendlies against lowly opposition, you can’t read too much into the performance and the scoreline but the tactics and the way that Cooper wants us to play – especially in an attacking sense was very pleasing on the eye. The link-up play at times was excellent, one-touch passing football and the players contributing to the attack all seemed to know exactly where their team-mates would be.

Oli McBurnie has been linked with a move to Premier League side Sheffield United this week after a £15m bid was rejected but that speculation didn’t affect the striker’s performance. He was excellent; his link-up play in deeper positions is a quality we would really miss if we decide to agree and sell him to the Blades.

Early in the second half, Fulton completed his hatrick, heading home Celina’s free-kick from the right.

Cooper made his first substitutions at the restart, bringing on Naughton, Asoro and Byers for Roberts, Dyer and Grimes. On the hour mark, another seven changes were made with the only player keeping his place for the entire 90 minutes being Kristoffer Nordfeldt.

Fulton’s hatrick clearly gave him a boost in confidence before he was replaced and he’ll be hoping to get more game time this season after being constantly in and out of the side last year under Graham Potter.

Another element of Swansea’s play during pre-season that’s been pleasing to see is their intensity out of possession in the opposition’s half of the pitch, and final third in particular. Barrie McKay’s goal and our fifth of the night came after racing forward and intercepting a sideways pass. The former Forest man then raced forward before the slotting the ball home from around 8 yards.
Courtney Baker-Richardson also bagged himself our sixth goal of the net as he pounced on a loose ball from close range after George Byers’ shot was only parried.

Another promising run out for the Swans in dominant style. We could have easily have reached double figures given the amount of clear cut chances we created; our finishing might have been lacking at times but there were plenty of positives to take from the performance. The one remaining negative of defending set pieces still remains and Cooper and his coaches will surely want to correct those mistakes over the next few weeks and months.

Swansea City: Kristoffer Nordfeldt; Connor Roberts (Kyle Naughton 46), Mike van der Hoorn (Brandon Cooper 61), Joe Rodon (Cian Harries 61), Jake Bidwell (Declan John 61); Jay Fulton (Jack Evans 61), Matt Grimes (George Byers 46); Nathan Dyer (Joel Asoro 46), Bersant Celina (Yan Dhanda 61), Wayne Routledge (Barrie McKay 61); Oli McBurnie (Courtney Baker-Richardson 61).

Subs not used: Erwin Mulder.

 
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