The missing twelfth man

Friday, 26 June 2020, 11:45
1 min read

It is often said that the crowd at any football stadium can act as the twelfth man for the home side but tomorrow the Swans will have to make do with just the eleven on the pitch as they welcome bottom of the league Luton Town to the Liberty looking to build on last week’s excellent result against Middlesbrough.

Football is a game for behind closed doors for the foreseeable future and the Swans will experience that at the Liberty for the first time against Luton as they prepare for their first home fixture for sixteen weeks.  It was a 0-0 draw against promotion chasing West Brom at the start of March that proved to be the last game before football was suspended but come the end of the game tomorrow the team could find themselves occupying a play off position in the Championship with just seven games to go.

With current 6th placed side Preston playing 7th placed Cardiff and Blackburn not in action until mid afternoon, a win for the Swans and a draw at Deepdale will see us move into 6th place ahead of the afternoon fixtures.

It will be a strange experience for the Swans in front of an empty crowd but Steve Cooper believes he has done all he can to help prepare his players for the experience

“We’ve done quite a bit of preparation for playing with the Liberty empty, to be honest,” said the head coach.

“We’ve utilised the availability of the Liberty quite a bit. We have been playing friendly games and practice matches, you ask players to put kit on and get as close to a proper match situation as you can.

“We have tried our best to replicate that as much as we can. I don’t think anything will be quite how is really is, but we’re looking forward to it. It’s always a great place to be.”

Luton secured themselves a draw against Preston last weekend thanks to a late goal and returning manager Nathan Jones, who rejoined the club during the period of football being inactive, will be looking to build on that in his trip to South Wales.

“We have pretty much a full squad to choose from apart from Kazenga really,” said Jones. “Apart from that a full squad, in good shape, they’ve all come through the game and the week’s training.”

“We’re still gathering momentum, sharpness and getting up to speed, but that will have done them the world of good. Last week, we bought five (substitutes) on, who got real important minutes and contributed, so we’re in a better shape physically than we were a week ago.”

Tomorrow’s game at the Liberty kicks off at 12.30pm

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

Phil Sumbler

Been watching the Swans since the very late 1970s and running the Planet Swans website (in all its current and previous guises since the summer of 2001 As it stood was right at the forefront of some of the activity against Tony Petty back in 2001, breaking many of the stories of the day as fans stood against the actions where the local media failed. Was involved with the Swans Supporters Trust from 2005, for the large part as Chairman before standing down in the summer of 2020.


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