Jack the Lad: All eyes on United

28th March 2018
First team

Loyal Swans fan and website columnist Jack the Lad is concentrating on the league - and Manchester United - after FA Cup defeat to Spurs and the international break.

‘We’re going to concentrate on the league’ has become something of a cliché not just in football, but sport in general.

But clichés become clichés for a reason, and that is because they are so often the perfect way to sum up a situation.

Concentrating on the league is the situation the Swans now find themselves in.

The FA Cup run was an entertaining distraction which took the Swans to the quarter-finals for the first time since 1964.

We may not be on our way to Wembley, which is a huge shame, but the cup results leading up to the Spurs defeat helped raise confidence amongst the team and morale amongst the fans.

The international break also provided a boost to the club with some promising young Swans players being rewarded for their development by being awarded their senior international debuts.

Did you hear about the Englishman, the Scotsman and the Welshman?

No, it’s not a joke! Oli McBurnie and Crynant’s very own Connor Roberts made their senior international bows during the international break, while Alfie Mawson got a first taste of life with the senior England squad.

That is good news for the three individuals concerned, and also a huge endorsement for the club.

But now everyone’s focus turns back to the Premier League on Saturday.

And if ever there was a fixture to focus the mind, then it’s a trip to Old Trafford to face Manchester United.

However, a visit to the Theatre of Dreams for the Swans has been far from a nightmare scenario in recent seasons.

In their last five visits to United, the Swans have won twice and drawn once, a record which compares favourably with any team's return at the iconic ground.

After waiting over 70 years for their first ever away win against United, the Swans broke their duck just over four years ago in the FA Cup.

A 90th-minute winner goal from Wilfried Bony sealed a famous win for the Swans.

And having waited all those years for their first success, the Swans earned their second win at Old Trafford just eight months later, this time in the Premier League.

The match marked the start of Louis van Gaal's reign as United manager, but it was the Swans who stole the headlines with another 2-1 victory.

It was the first time United had lost at home on the opening day of the season since 1972.

The Swans were sent on their way to success with a goal by Ki Sung-Yueng.

Wayne Rooney celebrated becoming United captain with the equaliser, but Gylfi Sigurdsson clinched the winner in the 72nd minute.

Gylfi was on target again last season when the Swans earned a valuable 1-1 draw in their successful battle to stave off relegation during the last few weeks of the campaign.

And now the Swans go back to Old Trafford this Saturday with their mind once again focused firmly on staying in the Premier League.

Considering their recent successes, there's no reason why the Swans can't pick up another vital result on Saturday.

Now there's something to concentrate the mind.

C'mon you Swans!