Jack the Lad: We're in for a treat

21st August 2018

Loyal Swans fan and website columnist Jack the Lad looks ahead to this week's home games against Leeds and Bristol City.

Anyone who thought the Championship wouldn’t be as exciting as the Premier League hadn’t anticipated what’s on offer at the Liberty Stadium this week had they?

A midweek visit by Leeds United, followed four days later by the Swans hosting their nearest geographical league rivals Bristol City.

If these two matches don’t get your sporting juices flowing then perhaps you’re following the wrong game!

The atmosphere for both occasions should be red hot, with Leeds always good for a big and vocal away support, while the Robins should also flock here in numbers given the relatively short hop over the ‘Geraint Thomas Bridge’.

When the Swans hosted Preston for the first home game of the season, the only thing I felt was missing from the Premier League days was the atmosphere generated by a big away support.

The Jack Army got behind the Swans in exactly the same way, but the game just seemed to lack that little bit of atmosphere which is generated by a good, old-fashioned, noisy verbal exchange between the home and away fans.

Fair play to Preston’s supporters, they certainly got behind their side, but a few hundred will rarely generate the kind of response from the home fans that a couple of thousand do – unless you go back to the days when even a couple of coachloads of Palace fans were enough to bring on a headache.

In every other way, as far as I am concerned, the Championship matchday experience was every bit as good as it was in the top flight. In many ways it was better.

A closely fought match with plenty of excitement and a huge amount of commitment and effort from both sides, especially the Swans players.

Fans will rarely complain when they see their side walking off the pitch exhausted, having given everything to the cause – whatever the result.

It was also good to see some good honest physical challenges waved on by the referee, with players getting up, dusting themselves down and throwing themselves into the next tackle, without some of the theatrics we’ve seen in recent seasons.

Talking about throwing yourself into a tackle, Leroy Fer didn’t ease himself gently back into action, did he?

Many players might have been a little tentative as they approached their first full-blooded tackle after a long lay-off. Not our Leroy!

Just moments after coming on he launched himself into a 50-50 challenge and came out with the ball – just what the Swans needed as Preston threatened to spoil Graham Potter’s first home game.

Both this week’s matches should have all of the above ingredients, with the added spice of a large visiting contingent filling the north stand.

Anyone who hasn’t been convinced that the Liberty Stadium is the place to be this season, get down there for the next two games. I’m sure you’re in for a treat.

C’mon you Swans!