OPPOSITION FAN: Swans are real contenders again under boss Cooper
- Credit: PA
Guto Llewelyn, part of the Jack Cast podcast, provides the inside track on Swansea City, who seem to be progressing well under boss Steve Cooper
Q: Swansea come to Carrow Road five unbeaten, only one defeat so far this season – how has the start of the season been for you?
A: It’s been a bit like Norwich, really. It was a slow start to the season and we wanted to establish ourselves and the games weren’t very entertaining, but we were getting respectable results. But over the last few games, it really feels like the performance levels have been kicked up a notch. We’re playing some of the best football we’ve played under Cooper, we’re looking much sharper, our passing is more intricate, we’re creating better chances and we’ve had some decent results. In midweek, we drew with Brentford 1-1. They scored with their only shot on target and they struggled to create anything. We played the better football. There’s a real buzz around the club. There’s always been a question mark around Cooper because his football has been too conservative at times but it looks like his game is coming to fruition and we like it.
Q: Does this feel like a season where Swansea can push on and mount a credible promotion push?
A: We’re hoping. When we were first relegated from the Premier League, I think everybody just wanted to stabilise things. We’d had a difficult couple of years in the Premier League where we’d avoided relegation by the skin of our teeth and then went down miserably. We had to rebuild, had financial problems and Graham Potter did a great job. Cooper has built on that and added to it through playing youngsters and implementing his style of football. Everyone is a year older and wiser, we’re all wondering if this is the year we can get promoted through the play-offs.
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Q: Plenty of people have made comparisons between the two sides, is that something you see yourself from a Swansea perspective?
A: A lot of comparisons have been made: Norwich had a lot of players from their academy coming into that title-winning side, playing an entertaining style of football which we saw under Potter and now with Cooper. So there are obvious comparisons between what Farke did, which obviously everybody admired so much, that’s what we’re hoping Swansea can do.
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Q: Brentford in midweek, now the Swans face Norwich, is this a good test for where the squad is at the moment?
A: At the start of the week we were saying ‘okay, this will give us an idea of where we stand’. I think we passed the test against Brentford. We were the better side and that doesn’t happen often against them. We’re very aware we are playing against one of the best teams with the best squads so it’s a bit of a free hit. If we win, we could go top and it’s amazing. If not, then we move on. Carrow Road isn’t a happy hunting ground for us, we’ve only one there once in 70 years!
Q: Swansea have a few former Norwich players in their ranks, how are Ryan Bennett, Korey Smith and Kyle Naughton getting on in South Wales?
A: Ryan Bennett signed for us on deadline day, replacing Joe Rodon who signed for Spurs so massive shoes to fill there. He’s fitted in brilliantly, he’s a solid presence at the back. Naughton gives us that footballing ability from defence and Smith gives us a little bit of bite in midfield that we’ve been missing.
Q: How do you see this game going? Score prediction?
A: I think it will be a great contest for us watching at home. I’d happily take another point so I’ll go for a 1-1.