Match Discussion: Swans v Preston North End - Championship 2020/21

edited April 7 in Swansea City

This is the place to discuss all things related to the Swans v Preston North End Championship game on Monday, 5 April 2021 at 3pm.

Referee Peter Bankes will be assisted by James Mainwaring and Nick Greenhalgh, with Sam Allison the 4th Official for the game.

Take a look at the Swans v Preston North End Head to Head Stats since their first meeting in south Wales in 1926.

Share your pre and post match thoughts, views on Steve Cooper's pre or post match comments and team selection.



  • Is this guy real or what. Brings Whittaker on min to go. And says we need to do more going forward.

    Swansea's Steve Cooper: "That wasn't a good version of us tonight; we're a much better team than that. The result is the most disappointing thing but the performance is right up there with that disappointment as well because we didn't play anywhere near the level that we can play in so many way. You've got to earn the right, you've got to make your own luck, you've got to make things happen and we didn't do that tonight.

    "I thought Freddie had got us out of trouble in the first half but then, right at the end, it was too much. I'm not saying we got what we deserved, but we've certainly got to play better going forward, that's for sure."

  • Says it all really "...make your own luck....."

    I don't want my team to be a team depending on luck, I want my team to play the Swansea City way.

  • Lets just hope Cooper wakes up before Monday's game and says to his player,

    listen we are going to play 3 up front, Lowe you are a right winger do that and stay away from the left, Ayew your a left winger so stay on the left, by the way you can cross the ball now because we have a 6'2 CF in the middle.

    So forget left footers on the right and right footers on left, go and play in your actual position.

    Cooper at 5pm

    "FFS how did we win and score 5, I'll have to try that again, playing people where they should be" Tatey burn my old coaching manual

  • Bollacks to this game, and bollacks to the next 7!!

    get our and enjoy the weather and don’t put yourself through this anymore

  • There’s only one hope for us for the rest of the season and that’s for sc to play 4-5-1 with 2 wingers and 2 attacking fbs even iff he plays a false 9 anything is better than 5 at the back especially one that milk turns quicker.Bennett is 30 years of age and he can’t play 2 games a week.the more I see him the more I can see why wolves got rid!

  • Bennett is not a natural Swansea player on last night’s evidence. He launches long balls that either find touch a la Woodman, or simply come straight back at us.

    Through the age groups the Swans are taught how to pass and move and the first team players who can do this naturally are Fulton, NaughtoN, Cabango (if allowed), Connor R, Grimes (if allowed), Korey Smith, Ayew, Guehi and most of the subs. The fact that they play like Cardiff or Stoke (but without the giants) is purely down to Cooper. Roberto Martinez previously had us playing football within a fortnight so it can be done.

    Cooper needs to go and we can get a new manager “bounce” for the play-offs.

  • I don’t care iff Bennett second touch is a tackle,he’s powder puff tony Adam’s wasn’t the most blessed footballer but he was a colossus at the back sean Morrison at scumdiff would put his life on the line for that blue shirt Bennett has come here for a pay cheque. Iff I was told he’s 35 36 years of age I’d believe you

  • Wow @Bob - that is one of the few times I have seen the words Ayew and pass in the same sentence.

  • Cardiff 4 Preston 0

    If only we could do that

  • Unless Cooper changes formation (to a back 4) then Monday will be just like Groundhog Day.

  • Some interesting points being raised here and some thoughts of mine on them:-

    If we did go to a back 4 would we lose the effectiveness of Guehi ? (I think he suits playing in a back 3)?

    If we went with a 4-5-1 that has been mentioned who are these wingers as I feel we don't really have any out and out wingers in the squad anymore?

    @Bob I think you're being a bit harsh on Bennett as he has played a major part in our defensive play this season (you may have a point regarding his ability to stay fit) and I think our poor defensive performance has coincided with his fitness struggles and I don't think he is 100% at the moment, so maybe we should be seeing more of Cabango (his omission is puzzling).

    I don't believe Cooper will change the formation as he really does believe it was just a poor performance and not the formation, but let's say he does change to a 4-5-1 I would go with this team


    Naughton - Bennett-Guehi-Bidwell



    Subs: Hamer-Cabango-Latibeaudiere-Hourihane-Dhanda-Routledge-Whittaker-Lowe-Cooper

    Also and this for me is one of our biggest problems Grimes must not play too deep as this is when we are poor and affects his influence on the game, he must be encouraged to push forward and get involved in the forward play (he looks a decent player when this happens), a back 4 should not need protection from a CM

    My final point is I believe our small squad has just run out of steam (it happens) and now is the time for Cooper to be brave and prove he is this bright young manager and a change of formation could achieve this as other teams may not be able to adapt and we would have an edge we currently lack. My worry is we will replicate what happened with Garry Monk at Leeds in the 2016/17 season.

    They were 4th on April 1st and picked up just 6 points (W1, D3, L3) from the last 7 games and Monk (as we all know) being the stubborn arrogant individual he is thought he new best and refused to change (team or tactics) and guess what happened ?

    They finished 7th and ultimately lost his job (don't think Monk has changed his philosophy and he keeps losing the jobs he secures!!)

  • Cheers Chris.

    The reason that we have run out of steam is because Cooper plays the same team week in week out and doesn’t make subs until it is too late. Even then they are rarely tactical changes.

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

  • Chris,

    I'd play Dhanda in the midfield, with the two players to sit, being Grimes and Fulton - who offers more defensive height than Smith, because we are not the tallest team.

    He could of course try Joel in defensive midfield, because he is a good reader, tackler, and his distribution is excellent. Also decent in the air for a smaller defender.

    This when the fullbacks bomb forward in a 4-4-2, or whatever formation with 4 at the back, he is naturally inclined to fill in their space during a transition. So he on the right, and Grimes on the left would be a natural fit for 2 sitting midfielders.

    and that suggests to me that the best formation could be 4-2-1-3. It's a bold one, which I dont see the risk adverse Cooper taking.

    GK: Woodman

    Back 4: Roberts, Bennett/Cabango, Guehi, Manning.

    holding mid: Joel, Grimes

    Playmaker: Dhanda/Hourihane (our only two real goal threats from our midfielders)

    Front 3: Whittaker, Ayew, Lowe.

  • absolutely Bob and by that very definition Cooper is insane (not the genius the press would have you believe)!!

  • How about something completely different.

    GK Hamer

    Back 3 Naughton, Bennet, Cabango.

    Midfield 4 Roberts Smith Guihi, Bidwell Strength and tackling in centre with crosses from left and right.

    Front 3 Lowe (R) Whittaker (C) Ayew (L)

    Note no grimes and no left footers in midfield, if struggling Guihi drops back from this system of 3-4-3 to 4-3-3

    Lowe is right footed but has been playing on the left and Ayew left footed playing on the right, so swap them to their natural side and play to Whittaker or swap as no 10's going inside but the main thing is for the 3 to be in the box when Roberts or Bidwell cross.

    For me Guihi would be a natural holding midfielder and also driving forward and he has far more pace than Grimes.

    We also then have the luxury of 2 left footed midfielders if needed but doubt they would be, Dhanda either in midfield or up top, Manning another left footer to cover Bidwell a CB replacement and Routledge to cover up top.

    Nothing to lose, far more attack minded with no weaknesses left at the back.

    Would Cooper ever throw out the text book coaching manual to try this, I very much doubt.

    As for doing the obvious like 4-4-2 or 4-1-2-3 or 4-3-1-2, not worth even trying, too complicated, this team needs players to play where they are used to playing, so apart from Guihi the rest would be comfortable but even Guihi has played that role in the youth

  • @Mark_Jack_London playing Joel as DM would be very interesting as he would offer the ability to drop back into a 3 at the back (bit like Phillips does at Leeds) so offering the ability to switch between formations on the fly (i.e Roberts and Manning bomb on and Joel drops back) but Cooper has shown no ability to coach this kind of flexibility.

    In your 4-2-1-3 I would prefer Dhanda just because he has more mobility than Hourihane and I could see Fulton playing in that position as given the license I think he is quite creative.

    We could also look at a 4-2-3-1

    With Ayew up top and Whittaker and Lowe in the wide positions (or even Manning, Cooper or Routledge being in the mix for the wide positions).

    What is really disappointing is that these discussion show that despite our small squad there could be flexibility in the way set up and play and yet it seems Cooper either can't see it or is not capable enough to implement.

  • my preference would also be for Yan, as his mobility could be key here. His passing and movement looks better than what Hourihane has offered to date, too.

    But Hourihane's shooting accuracy is an attractive proposition. It is just how to get the best out of that skill.

    And yes, your assessment on how Joel could also drop into a three is a good one. It gives flexibility meaning, depending on where he is on the pitch, and where the danger is, he could either drop wide to cover the fullback, or into the centreback position, and the central defender on that side move out to meet the danger, with Joel covering inside instead of out wide.

    And as you say, we have come up with a number of ideas within the limited squad. So why can't Cooper? Why is he wedded to something that has obviously been found out?

  • Its an interesting formation where you have put Joel where I would have put Guihi, then using Naughton as the sub, In that system its a straight back I dont think Manning offers as many crosses as Bidwell or as good in the air, Not impressed on Hourihane as a playmaker though goes missing, but 3 up top A1

  • My worry is that whatever great suggestions we come up with - and there are a lot of good ones in this thread..they will all be trumped by a character trait in our esteemed leader that is starting to concern me greatly.

    In American sports, where egos can be huge, I call this the "smartest man in the room syndrome". this sees coaches resistant to advice and resistant to change - because in their minds they feel weak. Instead they pursue what they believe to be the right tactics despite results and performances in a determination to prove that they are right AT ALL COSTS.

    I believe we are seeing this is the predictable formations, tactics and refusal to change things "in game".

    There are some clear message from me to Cooper - it is strength not weakness to take advice. Change is good for the players and detrimental to the opposition. When plan A is not working then we HAVE to change to plans B C and D. Be positive and encourage the players to play - the Jack army will respect and love you for it.

  • and no prizes for guessing what team we will see

    minimum change i would guess from brum

    maybe cabango in

    likely yan with hourihane sub or other way round

    just from an energy point of view I'd like to see Cabango Manning Dhanda and Whittaker in at the very least and I'd go with


    Naughton Bennett Guehi Manning

    Fulton Grimes Hourihane


    Ayew Whittaker

  • you are sacrificing our best defender to put him in midfield? Really?😳

    that's way too risky, in a system that is already a risk laden one.

  • All the back 3 are OK we lose it in midfield being sloppy, the emphasis now should be how to win not how not to lose, Guihi is powerful he has been the only one recently to beat a few and drive through as far as their defence, it wont matter anyway, unless Cooper wakes up tomorrow with a new head on, it will be personnel changes but all systems go (The same system)

  • edited April 4

    Quite a few opinions on team selection on this and the post Birmingham thread.Just illustrates to me how many combinations there are from any group of 16 players.I wonder how many mathematical combinations there are.

    Obviously some positions have fewer options to choose from ,but still there must be many with a choice of alternatives, particularly when style of play,the player's expertise, and tactics are added in to the decisions,as the different suggestions here seem to confirm.

    Still from the sidelines no-one has to see our team selection perform in public.

    Let us hope that the coaches get it right tomorrow, and the players produce the goods both in performance terms and with the points.

  • Can't see the boss changing the team too much , I would go with

    Woodman ,

    Naughton , Guehi , Joel , Manning ,

    Roberts , Grimes , Dhanda , Fulton ,

    Lowe , Whittaker ,

    Roberts playing further forward would give us more energy in midfield also a goal threat

  • edited April 4

    If the squad of 16 is made of 2 goalkeepers and 14 outfield players then by my calculations there are 1,001 possible combinations. This assumes that only one of the goalkeepers is included in the starting 11 with the rest of the team made up of only outfield players.

  • morning one and all,

    for me todays selection will show A .how stubborn Mr Cooper is or how B, how strong he is there MUST be positive changes to the team to start to rest the weary lads a little at least , one and all can see that some lads need more rest if the manager cannot then he needs to start wearing specs

    I should think nearly if not all our opponents Know how to play us so perhaps just perhaps throw a curve ball into selection and for goodness sake show a little adventure at least but for me the way the last 2 months have gone even the play off could be at risk after it looks like the autos have been thrown away so come on Mr Cooper show us what you can do as our head coach and lead from the front with some strong selection today (NOT HOLDING MY BREATH)

    bet it will be same as same as, but will love to be proven wrong

  • All hands on deck today. We don’t want that losing streak to continue without putting up a fight so SC needs to magic up a win somehow. Some interesting thoughts and opinions on tactics, formations, and personnel changes. Somewhere in all of those that have been posited I’m sure there’s the ultimate winning formula. Trouble is the refusal of SC to see that there is another way to get the best out of who he has available. For me the most obvious changes are to the regular front two partnership with the obvious observation that they simply need a break from what has been a gruelling campaign.

  • Moorlands, the answer should have been 2,002 possible combinations as I omitted the 1,001 combinations using the other goalkeeper. Let's hope SC finds a combination that can play attractive attacking football and that wins today's game.

  • Cheers Jasfan,I love these permutations,I used to have all the easier ones on the old fashioned Littlewoods Pools at my finger tips,but doing the maths on this perm is beyond me .👍️

  • Can it get any worse?

    Seems SC is copying Mourinho.........he is the only one NOT to blame

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