Carlos Carvalhal is hoping for a “kind of miracle” after Swansea City’s Premier League survival hopes suffered a hammer blow as they were beaten by Southampton.
The Swans’ winless run was extended to eight top-flight games as Manolo Gabbiadini’s second-half goal gave the Saints a 1-0 victory at the Liberty Stadium.
Carvalhal’s team showed plenty of fight as they attempted to secure the victory which would have left their destiny in their hands heading into the final weekend of the season.
But instead the Swans are now in need of favours from elsewhere – as well as a first victory in nine games when they host Stoke on Sunday – to give them any hope of staying up.
The Swans must hope Huddersfield lose their game in hand at Chelsea on Wednesday night and that the Terriers are beaten again when they host Arsenal on the final day.
If both those results happen, the Swans could leapfrog Huddersfield if they beat Stoke.
Southampton, who host Manchester City at the weekend, are not mathematically certain to finish above the Swans after going three points clear of them tonight, but their goal difference – minus 18 compared to minus 27 – means it would take something extraordinary for Carvalhal’s men to move ahead of Mark Hughes’s team.
“It’s horrible that we do not depend on ourselves,” said the Swans manager.
“We still have a chance but we don’t depend on ourselves. Let’s see what happens tomorrow night. If we can still stay up after that, we must do our bit on the weekend and win our game.
“After that, let’s see if a kind of miracle can happen.”
Carvalhal felt he could not criticise his players for their performance against Southampton.
The Swans battled throughout in an attempt to secure a result, but it was the Saints who found a winner after a set-piece scramble.
“At the end my feeling is frustration of course with the score and the situation,” Carvalhal added.
“It’s very difficult for me to talk about this game. My players gave the maximum. They fought, they played with commitment, they played with heart and the fans pushed the team.
“We tried to put more players in attack to help the team but we didn’t achieve what we wanted.
“They scored from a corner and that had a big impact. After that it was difficult because of the emotion of the game.”