Preview | Barnsley v Swansea City
Swansea City return to Championship action against Barnsley at Oakwell this afternoon looking to put recent frustrations behind them.
The Swans headed into the weekend’s action sitting fourth in the table, just a point off top spot, but looking to erase the disappointment of a home defeat to Stoke last time out.
However, they travel to South Yorkshire looking to extend an unbeaten start to the season on their travels.
Indeed, the Swans are now without defeat in their last seven away Championship games, a run which has incredibly come on the back of seven consecutive away defeats.
They face a Barnsley side hurting following the exit of manager Daniel Stendel – who got them promoted last season – and desperate to record a first win since the opening day of the season in front of their own fans.
Both sides are seeking to kick off this sequence of fixtures with real impetus, and it promises to be a full-blooded encounter.
Swansea City are nearly at full strength for the trip to Oakwell with Steve Cooper’s international contingent returning to Fairwood with a clean bill of health.
Defender Kyle Naughton is in contention after shaking off the knock that ended his afternoon early against Stoke last time out.
Aldo Kalulu remains sidelined as he nears the end of his rehabilitation from an ankle injury.
Steve Cooper: “We have to be really focused on ourselves and be ready for whatever Barnsley throw at us.
“It could be a number of things, but what we do know is they are a young, hungry team who work really hard even when results have not gone their way.
“When sides change manager there is an element of the unknown and, if we are going to be the team we want to be, we have to be able to adapt to situations.”
Adam Murray: “For a young team, it is about making them feeling good and people more settled after what has happened.
"I want to make them feel better about themselves. As a young footballer, I know what it is like to get a couple of punches on the chin.
“It is tough to come back and build your confidence and that is my biggest job and aim over the last few days.
"In terms of the future, I have been part of this football club for the 18 months and it is a club I feel at home with and has the same ideas as me.
“It is my job to coach and prepare, and make sure that when the next manager comes in, he is taking over a really good environment."
Remember the last time?
Swansea City last visited Oakwell for an FA Cup third-round tie in January of 2012, and ran out 4-2 winners.
Barnsley took the lead shortly before the half-hour mark against the Premier League visitors when Ricardo Vaz Te fired a shot into the top corner of the Swansea net.
The Swans responded just one minute later as Nathan Dyer teed up Angel Rangel, who slotted the ball past Luke Steele to level.
Danny Graham put the visitors ahead just one minute into the second half with a superb strike from 30 yards, and Dyer strengthened Brendan Rodgers’ side’s lead in the 54th minute after some fine play from Wayne Routledge.
Just over 10 minutes later, Vaz Te reduced the deficit when he got the final touch following Danny Drinkwater’s free-kick.
But striker Graham sealed the victory for the Swans in the 89th minute when he found the net from close range following good work from Routledge and Joe Allen.
5 – Andre Ayew has been involved in five goals in his last eight Championship starts for Swansea City, scoring two goals and setting up a further three.
12 – Barnsley are winless in their last dozen meetings against the Swans in all competitions.