Jack the Lad: Let's all do our bit

2nd May 2018
Club

Loyal Swans fan and website columnist Jack the Lad looks ahead to the last week of the season - and says we can all play a part in the fight to stay up.

The Swans' fight for Premier League survival is going to come down to the very last week of the season.

It's the nerve-shredding, nail-biting, finger-crossing finale to the campaign we had all dreaded.

As much as we would all have loved a nice relaxing bank holiday weekend jaunt to the seaside, this Saturday's trip to Bournemouth is going to be anything but.

And depending on what happens on the South Coast this Saturday afternoon, along with developments in Stoke at lunchtime, over in the West Midlands at 3pm and up on Merseyside later on in the afternoon, our last two home games of the season could be unbearably tense affairs too.

However, as Carlos Carvalhal said following last Saturday’s defeat against Chelsea, we would probably have taken this position had we been offered it at Christmas.

I have to admit, I've already lost count of the number of times I've called up the Premier League table on my phone since West Ham's 4-1 home defeat at the hands of Manchester City on Sunday.

The particularly handy table is the one which shows you the remaining fixtures of each club when you click on their names.

Again and again I have studied the run-ins of both West Ham and Huddersfield, and more particularly Southampton, Stoke and West Brom.

Although I have repeatedly pored over them, the fixtures, positions, points and goal differences of each club haven't changed once.

Yet that doesn't stop me calling them up again and trying to work out all the different permutations.

I have a feeling that I'm going to be spending the best part of the next week doing pretty much the same and I have a hunch that I won't be alone.

If I had a fiver for the number of times the fans of the bottom half-dozen or so clubs in the Premier League check the table and remaining fixtures between now and May 13, I reckon I'd have enough cash to put in a cheeky summer bid to bring Gareth Bale back to South Wales next season!

The whole situation is complicated further by the fact that our two remaining home games are against two of our main relegation rivals, Southampton and Stoke.

Both games are the very definition of the term six-pointer. Win them and we're laughing, lose them . . . well that doesn't even bear thinking about.

As things stand, the Southampton match next Tuesday night looks like being the pivotal clash in deciding who stays up and who goes down, whatever happens this weekend.

A win against Bournemouth, and Southampton slipping up at Everton, would certainly ease the pressure, but that Saints clash is still going to be vital.

The fact that it’s a midweek match will add to the sense of occasion and will give the game a unique atmosphere given the relative rarity of 7.45pm kick-offs in the Premier League.

I have a feeling productivity may be down a little in offices, factories and schools across South West Wales and beyond on Tuesday afternoon as minds drift towards the evening’s big match and all the different permutations.

In truth, all our worrying and studying of tables, form guides, fixtures and potential team selections over the next week and a bit will make not a jot of difference.

But come kick-off time against Bournemouth, Southampton and Stoke, we need to channel every last bit of our nervous energy into getting behind the boys and making sure they feel 10ft tall when they take to the field in the three most important games of the season.

There will be highs and lows, twists and turns, and we may all be minus our fingernails by the time the final whistle goes on May 13.

Let’s make sure we do everything we possibly can to support the team and ensure that when we look at the final Premier League table on ‘Survival Sunday’, we can leave that webpage in peace for the summer with a big smile on all of our faces... until the start of next season!

C’mon you Swans!