Swansea City focusing on play-offs not personal situations, says Steve Cooper


Swansea ‘can’t have any fear or regrets’, says boss Steve Cooper

Head coach Steve Cooper says the play-offs rather than personal situations are on his players’ minds as Swansea City prepare to host Leeds United.

As things stand, half the 20-man squad Cooper picked at Birmingham in midweek will no longer be Swansea players come the end of the season.

But Cooper insists that for the moment, all eyes are on landing a place in the Championship’s top six.

“That’s my work with the players right now,” said the Swans boss.

“We are just talking about the last game and the next game and their current situation in terms of their football performance.

“That’s my focus with them and their focus with me. It will remain that way while knowing the other stuff might be going on in the background beyond the season.”

Five players among the 20-man squad which won 3-1 at Birmingham City – Kyle Naughton, Mike van der Hoorn, Nathan Dyer, Wayne Routledge and Erwin Mulder – will see their contracts expire when 2019-20 ends.

On top of that there were five loanees – Freddie Woodman, Marc Guehi, Conor Gallagher, Aldo Kalulu and in-form Rhian Brewster – who will return to their parent clubs.

Ben Wilmot, who is currently injured, will also see his loan spell end, while there are doubts over whether the likes of Joe Rodon and Andre Ayew will still be at Swansea next season even though they are under contract.

It is not an ideal scenario as Cooper looks to steer his squad into the play-offs, although discussions have begun about keeping some of the players concerned.

Veteran winger Wayne Routledge, who has made 21 appearances so far this season, is one of a number of Swansea players whose future is uncertain

“We knew this was going to be the case for a while and all I can say is that we are working beyond this season into next with what we think the plans could be,” he added.

“There aren’t any announcements in terms of players coming or going, but what I do know is that we’re on top of it.

“It might not be straightforward, it might not be plain sailing. I don’t think sometimes these things are but that’s football, not just Swansea City.”

The chances of certain players remaining at the Liberty Stadium may depend on whether Swansea can achieve something remarkable in the next few weeks by returning to the Premier League.

They have revived play-off hopes by claiming successive wins for the first time since December and, with four regular-season games remaining, Cooper says his team should relish the challenge of hosting the league leaders on Sunday.

“There’s everything to be excited about and nothing to be fearful of,” he said.

“I have seen some of the games at the bottom end of the league. That’s when it’s really tough and you can be playing with fear.

“For us it should be about thriving, taking opportunities and being excited about what’s in front of us. Let’s have no regrets.”



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