Richards looks to Liberty factor for crunch clash
Swansea City under-23s coach Gary Richards believes playing at the Liberty Stadium can make all the difference in their bid for survival when they face Tottenham Hotspur in Premier League 2 tonight (7pm).
You can watch the young Swans in action LIVE on swanseacity.com from 7pm this evening.
The Swans are six points from safety with two games to go which means they must win both games and hope results go their way if they are to remain in the top tier of development football.
But, despite the odds being against the Swans, Richards is relishing the chance of seeing his side play at the Liberty.
“The fact that it is at the Liberty always adds a little bit more spice. It definitely makes a difference. We’ve been lucky enough to play at a couple of nice stadiums this season, but it’s always great when we can play at the Liberty," he said.
Even though Swansea go into this game on the back of a 2-2 draw against Brighton and Hove Albion - after conceding a heart-breaking last-minute goal - the team is on a good run of form having lost just one of their last eight outings in all competitions.
And Richards believes this upturn in form could be key against a Tottenham side who sit just above the Swans in the relegation zone on the back of their 3-0 defeat to Blackburn.
“We have built up a little bit of momentum which I think is important and the boys are really looking forward to it," he added.
“It’s a big game for Tottenham as well as us. We know the importance of it. It’s just making sure the performance is where we need it to be, and then you hope the result takes care of itself.”
And the hosts will take confidence from the reverse fixture, where Richards and Cameron Toshack saw their side run out handsome 4-1 victors.
“We were delighted with the way we played, and it was definitely one of our best performances of the season," said Richards.
“The boys' performance levels and professional attitude is there for everybody to see. You wouldn’t think so looking at the league table, but the boys have given good effort this year, and we’ll be expecting exactly the same Monday”.
Once again, supporters can watch the under-23s for free at the Liberty and raise money for a cancer charity in support of Jack Evans.
Young midfielder Evans was diagnosed with cancer last summer and received treatment at the Teenage Cancer Trust’s unit in the University Hospital of Wales in Cardiff.
Thankfully the 20-year-old, who has been part of the Swans’ academy since the age of eight, is now in remission after successful treatment and has returned to the club for the early stages of training.
Evans has helped raise money for the Trust, while the Swans’ first-team and under-23s squads have also contributed along with his family and friends.
Supporters can now add to the contribution towards the charity during the development side's final Premier League 2 fixture at the Liberty.
Rather than charge an admission fee, the club is encouraging fans to make a donation to the Teenage Cancer Trust.