Lisa Higgins previews the games ahead of us this month.
The final countdown to the end of the season well and truly begins here. After an excellent start to the season the Jack Army now face a anxious run in. Where will we finish off with – an automatic Promotion spot or a tense time in the Unpredictable playoffs?
Whatever befalls Swansea City the rest of the month fixtures will be crucial in both table terms but in contributing to the confidence of the side. Swansea start the rest of the months games at home as the Swans host League One Strugglers Walsall. The last time these two sides met was at the rock in the LDV Vans Southern Section Semi Final. That night was full of drama with a late night penalty shoot out which knocked Walsall out of the LDV vans Trophy.
Since then Merson saw Red and has left the Saddlers. The Saddlers are currently languishing close to the basement of the league in 21st place with only 38 points. They will have to bounce back from a poor run or form. Swansea will be confident of a home win and with key players starting to come back from injury this could be a good time to snap up 3 vital points that will certainly keep the pressure on the rest of the promotion chasing pack.
The Saddlers will travel to the White Rock depleted with Ian Roper out due to suspension and Danny Fox looks doubtful. The Swans have their injury concerns, the defence has took a beating injury wise in the last few weeks losing Steven Watt and Izzy to injury in the same game. Kenny Jackett has needed to sure up his defensive options and has done initially Brent Sancho was on his way from Gillingham but the loan deal fell through. However Kenny Jacket has not given up on his primary defensive cover option in Wolves Defender Keith Lowe and his patience has paid of. Lowe signed a 1-month deal with the swans within the last 24 hrs. This will help the Swansea selection and with the midfield namely Andy Robinson on form this should be 3 points for the swans.
The Swans then hit the road with an Away trip to Layer Road to face Colchester United for the 4th time this season in the second leg of the LDV vans trophy Southern Section Final. The Swans take a slender lead into a crucial clash thanks to a strike from Akinfenwa in the first leg at the rock. Kenny Jackett at the start of the season marked the LDV Vans Trophy as one of his key targets for the season.
The U’s will feel confident in overcoming the 1-0 deficit. However their recent form has been poor. They may be on a downward spiral but Swansea city must contain the potent strike force of the U’s. Iwelumo has been in fine form and Swansea must contain his evidential threat. However if Kenny Jackett rests Trundle for the Walsall game Swansea will have a probable strike force in Trundle and Knight to trouble the U’s defence. This is a must win for the swans if we want to book ourselves a trip to Cardiff.
Back to league business beckons after the LDV Vans clash. The swans play host to a clash against fellow promotion chasers Brentford. This match will be the most important game of the month as a win will give Swansea a great boost of confidence and also will assert some pressure on the teams before them. The last time these two sides met it finished in a 2-1 loss for the swans. This will be a tight game but one that the swans are more than capable of winning. Kristian O’Leary will be back after serving a suspension which will bolster Kenny Jackett’s defensive options. However the swans must silence the likes of Rankin and Pratley if we can hope to come away with maximum points at the rock.
Last and by no means least is a chance to get another 3 points against league one strugglers Gillingham. The Swans will travel to Priestfield Stadium full of confidence of 3 points currently the Gills are languishing just above the relegation spots in 19th place. Swansea will be potent in this game with the Likes of Trundle/Knight/Fallon/Akinfenwa all vying for a place in the Swansea starting line up. However the depth of the Swansea side will become evident in this match with midfield strength the potential key to this game. Robinson, Britton and Way all look likely (injury and suspensions permitting) to start this game. Britton’s pace down the flank will cause any defence problems encompassed with Robinson’s strength and power. The Gills have a tendency to leak goals and coming up against strong opposition in the Swans will leak goals. However Swansea will want to take 3 points against the Gills after the 2-1 loss at the rock earlier on in the season which gave them their first away win all season after going down to 10 men. 3 points is a viable outcome for the swans any less and this will dent the promotion challenge.
March will certainly set the tone for the promotion challenge run in, if Swansea win all their league games this will give the side confidence and will keep pressure on the sides who are there and thereabouts. Swansea has game winners in the side Trundle, Britton, Robinson and Tate to name just a few. In spite of all this league pressure if the swans can book a millennium stadium place in the LDV vans trophy final this will be a huge bonus for the side. Whatever happens there will be certainly a dose of drama at the rock in the next two months. What is certain we fans must be the 12th man.