I have spoken to many Swans fans this week, and with few exceptions it seems the only place to be come 3 PM on Saturday is in Swindon. And not just to drive round and round the Magic Roundabout! The Robins have improved a lot in recent weeks, and with nearly every other side at the foot of the table they are scrambling for points. Andy King has introduced a real fighting spirit in to his side, and last weeks win at Oxford pushed them ever closer to safety.
It was reported in the South West this week that they have too many derby games to contend with, and this has a negative effect on the sides competing. I take it the author of this report has never witnessed a Real Welsh Derby between ourselve's and Cardiff City then? Because that takes it out of you for months!
But I take his point, or was he just looking for excuses ? Looking at it, Oxford, Swindon, Reading, the two Bristol clubs and even Northampton form a good part of division two, so I take on board what he says. But this is an often used excuse for London clubs not winning the Premiership title as much as they should. So whats ours then ? It's been a long time since we last played (and traditionally beat) Cardiff City, so maybe the problem is a little closer to home. And on that point, did any of you see John Hollins in the stand, on BBC Wales last Tuesday night against Carmarthen Town?
Settle down now Ah, there I go again. The poor bloke looked as if he was about to go to sleep. But then I did, what a terrible game that was. Luckily Verschave forced an opening and got us the win, but I have to draw the line on his confrontation with Stu Roberts, no need for that Mr Verschave, all for one at this stage of the season. But then again he did show some passion, and plenty of that will be needed on Saturday. Lets keep it generated in the right areas.
Jackplug (Jack Army.net exclusive)
I am told there is one more Jackplug magazine planned before the end of the season. The final issue will include a memorable piece from brief Swans Assistant manager, Paul Molesworth, who came to us during the Kevin Cullis debacle. He leaves very little to thought, and covers his two years as a Swansea scout there after comprehensively. It makes you shudder, and what magazine shouldn't!
A bit of travel news I've been asked by the Independent Travelling Swans to point out that the Inter City train from Swansea to London on Saturday is a good bet to get to the game. It leaves Swansea at 9.30 AM and stops at a number of stations throughout Wales to Swindon. Even in Newport and Bristol for the local MAGS from there to join up with fellow Jacks from further west. Excellent idea. For those travelling from Birmingham, Gloucester and Cheltenham, you should have received travel details by now, and details of a pre booked pub, If not drop us a line via the normal routes. Swindon isn't far away and a number of trains and cars should carry a significant Swansea support from these areas.
I know that many MAGS members in Swindon itself have been receiving all the usual wind up's in work this week, I truely hope that they can give em some back come Monday morning.
Team news - Gio to return?
It's good to see Roger back between the posts, check out his thoughts on Swansea matters at http://www.rogerfreestone.com His testimonial site has been up and running for about five weks or so now and is getting many visitors, you can even ask him a few questions which he will personally answer on the message board. But you know the score, if it's a mad question, Phil Sumbler ( site administrator ) will remove it.
He has had a few interesting ones though, even about the colour of his underpants ! I know that the club are hoping that Giovanni Savarese will be fit for inclusion on Saturday, he is a must for the rest of the season. I was puzzled at his two week injury though. I know that football league rules talk about two weeks off if concussed. But what makes Robbie Fowler so different ?
He received a similar injury a few months back, and Liverpool hounded the FA and got him back very quickly indeed. Is it that Liverpool are more important maybe ? Or are there people there working a little bit harder at Anfield than they do at Swansea ? I would imagine that John Hollins, if possible, would have moved heaven and earth to have him included last Saturday. With him we just may have got the three points. So this Saturday is a must inclusion, and everything should be done to get him fit and ready.
Steve Jones is still out, but is ready to sign his contract at the club (Jack Army.net exclusive) So this should be finalised very quickly indeed. Jonesy has been a rock this season,. and ever since he signed from Cheltenham Town he has been magnificent. Take it from me this has not gone unnoticed by Steve Cotterill at Cheltenham. A good manager who knows a good player when he see's one. He has already moved quickly in this weeks signings, he states he owes it to the club and fans to do so, and beat off any opposition. mmmmm ! A contrasting managerial style to one we are used to at Swansea?
So to the lunchers and diners at The Vetch Field - dust down his contract, the Iron Man is ready to sign. I expect Jon Coates to feature this week, maybe as a substitute initially, but the manager seems to like him, lets hope he can turn in some sparkling performances at the end of this season, like he did at the end of last if included.
The sad loss is Jason Smith, he was immense at Stoke City last week, and no matter who we put in his shoes they do not have the guile of Smudger. He is finding it hard to get back to fitness, but Swansea City FC should be doing everything possible to get him right. We need his fighting spirit at the heart of our defence sooner rather than later. Hollins has a number of possibilities, but Kristian O' Leary in midfield will not look out of place alongside Nick Cusack and if it's goals we need then Stu Roberts behind the front two should start with Verschave and Gio up front. But that's obvious isn't it?
Swansea City from - starting eleven highlited Freestone, A. Davies, Price, Howard, Bound, Todd ( fitness ) Fabiano, Jenkins, Phillips, Keegan, M. Thomas, Roberts, Cusack, O' Leary, Coates, Romo, Verschave, Savarese, Watkin & Boyd.
Irrespective of who starts, who gets on, and who does what. Your team needs you, Graham Henry doesn't. There is only one place to be come Saturday, and it isn't watching the egg chasers. It's cheering on the Swans!
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