Call for a show of char­ac­ter as Swans seek win­ning re­turn

Western Mail - - SPORT -

GRA­HAM Pot­ter wants his young side to show they have the char­ac­ter to put a wretched week be­hind them and get back to win­ning ways at Brent­ford this af­ter­noon (3pm).

The Swans head to Grif­fin Park on the back of de­feats against Cham­pi­onship pro­mo­tion hope­fuls Nor­wich, West Brom and Derby; the first time they had lost three in a row un­der man­ager Pot­ter.

The se­quence – which saw the Swans suf­fer de­feats to an ag­gre­gate to­tal of 8-2 – have punc­tured some of the op­ti­mism that had been felt fol­low­ing three wins from the four fix­tures im­me­di­ately pre­ced­ing it.

It is a new ex­pe­ri­ence for many of the squad, with sev­eral play­ing their first full sea­son of se­nior foot­ball.

In­deed, in terms of play­ers used in the Cham­pi­onship this sea­son, Swansea have the fourth youngest av­er­age age.

But Pot­ter does not want that to be an ex­cuse, and has ev­ery faith in his play­ers’ abil­ity to get back on track and quickly.

“We are dis­ap­pointed and rightly so be­cause it has been a tough week. But you have got to be big enough as in­di­vid­u­als and as a team to ab­sorb that and say ‘Okay, that’s done, we have to keep on here’,” said the for­mer Oster­sunds boss, who will be with­out in­jured winger Daniel James in west Lon­don.

“That’s the most im­por­tant thing to me. We can shout and scream all we want about los­ing a foot­ball match, but you have to deal with that in the right way, stick to­gether and carry on try­ing to be pos­i­tive be­cause we need to be.

“Things can change very quickly, we had three wins out of four be­fore this run, and we have to re­spond be­cause that is what foot­ball and life is about.

“But the mood has been good. We try to be consistent, you can’t think you are the best team in the world when you win and think you are the worst team in the world when you lose be­cause nei­ther of those things will be true.

“You have to have some sta­bil­ity and the one thing you can al­ways do is try and get bet­ter and that’s what we are try­ing to do.”

The Swans will face a Brent­ford side who have won just once in their last 13 games and have strug­gled for form since head coach Dean Smith left for As­ton Villa and was re­placed by Thomas Frank in Oc­to­ber.

And Pot­ter knows the fix­ture will be a big test of the re­solve of the two sides.

“I think we have some strong char­ac­ters,” he added.

“No-one likes los­ing foot­ball matches and cer­tainly not three in a week.

“But we can’t feel sorry for our­selves. We have to get on with it and the play­ers have said ‘Come on, let’s get down to work’ and we have to go to Brent­ford as see it as an op­por­tu­nity, be­cause I am sure that is how they will see it.”

> Swansea City have suf­fered three losses on the bounce

> Gra­ham Pot­ter

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