It is fair to say that it has been a strange week to be a Swansea City fan. This time last week we seemed to have no real chance of reaching the play offs and had almost settled for at least being close whereas you fast forward seven days and each of us is dreaming of Wembley once again.
That is simply the unpredictability of football. Brentford on the other hand were at home to seemingly doomed Barnsley knowing a win could see them in the Premier League for the first time. They hoped it was their last match at Griffin Park and it was going to be signed off with a promotion party.
Fast forward the one week and they go into what is now definitely the last game at Griffin Park but facing a Swans side that has three straight wins behind them and of course the one goal advantage secured for us by Andre Ayew’s superb finish at the Liberty on Sunday evening.
This is the magic of the play offs and – for each of us this evening – it is what we hope will be the next step on the road back to the Premier League, a road that we probably didn’t expect to be taking when football returned from its absence back in June.
There are so many cliches that could be written about this game that you could be here for many hours reading them. Talk of a “key first 15 minutes”, “first goal could change everything” or even a “let’s hope we don’t defend too deep” could easily be thrown in but quite simply we know this is Swansea City and we are about to embark on another roller coaster of emotions.
The key things for Steve Cooper is that he approaches this game like he would any other. As he said himself earlier in the week we have to approach this as a brand new game and not think that we are defending a lead. Simply put make sure we don’t get beat tonight and we will have one more game to play next Tuesday evening. That is an indisputable fact.
The battle itself is intriguing when you look at the stats line up. We only lost 4 games on the road all season. No Championship side lost less than us on our travels. That is a good record and one that should mean that we approach the game with confidence. For Brentford though, only Leeds secured more points at home with the Bees getting 47 points from 69 available including a very comprehensive win of course against us. We know that they are likely to come at us early doors and could that create an opportunity for us or am I second guessing everything right now – is that nerves kicking in?
We will be ready for whatever comes, we will be looking to start well because that’s what it is to be professional and prepared.
We have focused on ourselves all season, particularly since lockdown with the schedule we have had.
That is what works for us, and we are continuing to do that. – Steve Cooper
The one thing I just know is that for (at least) 90 minutes this evening the Swans will ensure every one of my emotions will be tested. The excitement and anticipation will build during the day, the stress levels will peak somewhere around 7.30pm this evening and every time Brentford have the ball in our half the tension will rise. But let’s be fair we wouldn’t have it any other way, this is the life of a football fan and as a Swansea fan we even know that scoring twice in the opening five minutes will only relax us a little, there is never an easy way when you are a Swansea fan.
Let us see what tonight brings now because, after all, we still believe.
You can follow all the action and discussion from the game at Griffin Park using our matchday thread which is up and running and can be found here