REPORT: Swansea 0 Nottingham Forest 1

Saturday, 12 December 2009, 17:10
3 mins read

REPORT – myswans.co.uk

LEON Britton has been left disappointed after Paulo Sousa went public on his stalled contract talks.

There was more frustration for both parties on Saturday as Swansea City stalled against Nottingham Forest.

Presumably, the chances of Britton remaining at the Liberty beyond this season would improve dramatically if Swansea could find their way to the Premier League.

But the odds on Swansea winning the ultimate promotion for only the second time in their history next spring drifted a little over the weekend.

As usual, Sousa’s team played some pretty football and carved a couple of chances.

But not for the first time, they could not find the punch to knock their opponents off their stride.

Lee Camp made a couple of key saves for Forest, then those in front of him soaked up everything Swansea could muster.

“Don’t tell me there is a better goalkeeper than Lee Camp,” Billy Davies enthused. “And don’t tell me there are two better central defenders than Wes Morgan and Kelvin Wilson.”

The Forest manager was in chirpy mood. Unsurprising, really, when you consider his team have not lost on the road since March.

Swansea have not been beaten on their own patch too often in recent times, but their lack of firepower meant David McGoldrick’s goal was enough to condemn them to defeat.

“We needed to score,” Sousa pointed out. “We needed to take our chances when they came, especially against important opponents like Nottingham Forest .

“We have the players to score the goals we need.”

Sousa may be convinced, but a glance at the league table suggests otherwise.

Swansea have managed only 18 goals in 21 Championship games this season, a tally superior to just one other side in the division, second-bottom Plymouth Argyle.

Swansea’s excellent defensive record — they have conceded only 18 goals — means they remain nicely placed in sixth as the halfway point of the campaign approaches.

This is not the time to get downcast, for that is an excellent return on the back of the turmoil of the close season.

But if Sousa’s team are to progress in the second half of the season, they need to find more goals from somewhere.

This is not a new problem. A couple of seasons ago, Swansea scored more than anyone in the third tier as they marched to the League One title.

But too often since they climbed to the Championship, Swansea have not scored the goals their play has deserved.

It happened last season, and that was when Jason Scotland and Jordi Gomez were around.

With those two regular goalscorers gone, it is hardly surprising that Swansea continue to struggle to put the ball in the net.

Goals

There are many players on the books at the Liberty, but few have a record of goals throughout their careers.

The contrast could hardly have been starker this weekend, when Robert Earnshaw, Nathan Tyson and Dexter Blackstock all began on the Forest bench.

Joe Garner, the former Carlisle forward who cost in excess of £1million, could not even make it into Davies’s 18.

When it was suggested Sousa might need to add another striker to his squad come the January transfer window, there was a hint of envy.

“I am going to ask the chairman of Nottingham Forest if he can buy one for us,” said the Portuguese.

“We need to know our reality — we cannot dream too much.”

So Swansea can’t get into a financial scrap with a club like Forest but, as proved over the last 18 months, that doesn’t mean they can’t compete in the same league. Victory this weekend would have taken Sousa’s team above their opponents in the table, and three points might have been theirs had their first-half pressure counted for more.

“The result was not fair because we deserved much more,” Sousa insisted. “We started the game with great quality and we created a lot of panic for them, but you need to take your chances.”

Cedric van der Gun had two opportunities, flashing one shot across the face and then being denied by Camp after a fabulous Swansea move.

Ashley Williams headed over from point-blank range before the impressive Nathan Dyer forced another save from Camp.

Forest had threatened only briefly, but their goal came when Swansea failed to clear a free-kick and David McGoldrick — yet another costly forward — saw his shot deflect off Williams and into the corner of the net.

Grumbled

“It shouldn’t have been a free-kick in the first place,” Sousa grumbled, “and our goalkeeper might have saved it but for the deflection.

“But after that goal, they got more confidence and it was difficult for us.”

Forest fended off Swansea impressively, with substitute Lee Trundle providing the only hope of a lifeline.

The Scouser had three decent efforts but none hit the target, so Swansea were beaten for only the second time in 15 matches.

“We made a lot of effort to try to get back into the game but it wasn’t enough in the end,” Sousa added.

“It would have been nice to get a good result against important opponents, but now we need to find a way to get three points away from home against Sheffield Wednesday.”

Swansea’s first task at Hillsborough next Saturday will be to find the target

Images courtesy of Getty Images, Athena Picture Agency and Swansea City Football Club.
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