Andre Ayew revelling in pressure-cooker situations
Andre Ayew says he’s always prepared to shoulder Swansea City’s high-pressure responsibilities after his second penalty within three days helped seal a dramatic 2-1 win over Middlesbrough.
The Swans were heading for a share of the spoils at the Liberty after Sam Morsy cancelled out Ayew’s first-half opener in stoppage time.
But, with the seconds ticking down, Jake Bidwell was fouled in the box and Ayew stepped up to fire past Marcus Bettinelli to earn the Swans victory.
It was a repeat of Wednesday night’s finish at Stoke, where Ayew beat Angus Gunn from 12 yards with seconds left after Kyle Naughton was downed in the box.
Those victories handed the Swans six points, and, as a result, moved them to within a point of second-placed Watford with two games in hand.
And Ayew, who now has 13 goals this season, is happy to face up to the pressure situations.
“I’m happy to take the responsibility on my shoulders. I will never shy away from fronting up and facing the pressure situations, so it’s my duty to take penalties at difficult moments,” said the Ghana captain.
“Being the penalty taker is not always rosy, but it’s something I must do for the team.
“I’m not going to give away any secrets on my penalties, but all I want to see is the ball hit the net.
“It was such a late moment in the game, and it was a great relief to see the ball go in.”
The Swans last played in front of the Jack Army exactly a year ago today – a 0-0 draw with West Brom.
This latest result would have seen yet another memorable occasion for the Swans in front of the supporters, but, instead, fans continue to watch from the safety of their homes due to Covid-19.
And Ayew was quick to dedicate the recent results to the Swans family.
“The wins this week – it’s all for the fans. We know they are watching from home and can’t be at the stadium, but we know they are smiling after these games,” said Ayew.
“I’m sure they’ve enjoyed this week – sorry we’ve left it late with the winning goals! I’m sure they celebrated even louder at the final whistle because of the lateness of the goals.
“But we want them to know that we are always giving our all for our club. I’m sure they see that in our performances.”