Well, that was a dreadful afternoon at the office. Not only did we slump to our worst defeat of the season by losing 4-1 to Huddersfield we lost Jordan Morris to what looked like a serious injury. It is one not to dwell on but we need a performance in midweek against Coventry and the less said about today the better.
You could probably class it as something of a surprise that Steve Cooper sent out an unchanged side from Wednesday night. Not so much because of the fact that we won the game but the nature of the 90 minutes where we were anything but convincing during the game.
And, despite a reasonably bright first ten minutes of the game, the Swans soon settled into the same pattern that we saw in midweek and play started to drift more and more into our defensive third as the home side grew in confidence against a once again lethargic looking Swans.
It was probably no real surprise when the Swans fell behind as it followed a short(ish) spell where we had afforded too much space to Huddersfield. That in itself is generally never an issue in the middle third of the pitch but when you start doing it in your own penalty area you are likely to get punished and so it proved when Campbell flicked a shot in off the post which looked to be one of those that Woodman should have done better with.
One could easily have been two shortly after as Huddersfield struck the post with the Swans defence very much uncharacteristically looking out of sorts and the home side feeling that the game was there for the taking.
As the half though progressed the Swans got more and more into it and things were starting to look up for a good ten minutes before we got our equaliser which came from a Conor Hourihane free kick. Awarded on the right hand corner of the box, Hourihane caught the keeper cold as he struck a shot at goal which found the back of the net and ensured the Swans went in level just when it looked certain we would be behind at the interval.
Steve Cooper – unlike Wednesday night – used the halftime interval to make two changes to his side with Jordan Morris and Ben Cabango coming on in replacement for Lowe and Bennett respectively. It is hard to know given the volume of games at the moment whether that is a result of how the first half went or a planned change to keep legs fresh but either way it was the right thing to do despite us coming back into the match just before the break.
Sadly though the Swans were back behind three minutes into the second half with a low shot from the edge of the box that left Woodman slightly unsighted and the ball found the bottom right hand corner of the net to give the home side the lead.
If it was an uphill task at this point it became closing in on a mountain three minutes later when Huddersfield breached the Swans defence for a third time. Once again we just afforded too much space to Huddersfield on the edge of the area and when you do that you pay the price as we saw as the third one flew in past Woodman who this time certainly had no chance at all. Whatever Steve’s game plan was at half time with his two changes it had gone horrendously wrong inside six minutes with the double strike and the game in danger of running away from us even quicker.
And the game did get away from us with a fourth goal just three minutes later again. Holmes this time scoring his second in three minutes from outside the box and a full 30 yards from goal with Woodman again having no chance as Huddersfield made it 4-1 inside 55 minutes. You conceded 15 goals in your first 28 games of the season and then ship four inside an hour against one of the least in form teams in the division. As the camera panned to Steve Cooper at this point the face of the shell shocked manager said it all.
Three changes followed – Manning for Bidwell, Whittaker for Naughton and Dhanda for Fulton were the last rolls of the dice for the Swans as Cooper looked in desperation to try and make some sense of what was happening in front of him and give some hope that we could pull off something against all the odds.
Sadly the bad afternoon we were having got considerably worse just a few minutes later when Jordan Morris went down with what was a bad looking injury having jarred his foot into the ball. The instant reaction of all the players said it all and it was just a few minutes later that he departed the field on a stretcher all we could do was hope that the injury is not as bad as it was starting to look it probably was – when a player is down hurt and not moving for more than five minutes you know this is going to be a lengthy lay off.
Of course having used all five subs it left the Swans facing the last half hour of the game with just ten men on the pitch and certainly a case where damage limitation was on the cards although clearly at this point all the damage had been done.
As is often the case after a serious looking injury the game felt somewhat flat after Morris went off, Huddersfield with the three points under their belt were making regular changes to keep their squad fresh and the ten men Swans were clearly keen to make sure that the scoreline did not place any further dents in our goal difference. It was definitely a case of the last half hour just passing by rather than having anything meaningful to talk about and whilst the time added on was a necessity due to the injury when the fourth official signalled sixminutes you just knew it would be some of the most uneventful stoppage time minutes you could ever see.
This is a game and a result that we need to move very quickly on from. Thankfully the nature of the Championship means that we have the chance to do just that on Wednesday night when Coventry visit the Liberty but of course we have to be wary as they beat Brentford today. For two games now the Swans have looked off the boil and as if we are running a little out of ideas so there is a huge few days of work ahead of Steve Cooper and his side. This was definitely a scoreline that you did not see coming ahead of the game but we always knew we were going to get beat at some point. The key is now not to dwell on it and concentrate on Wednesday on starting another long unbeaten run.
And of course, once again we send our best wishes to Jordan Morris for a speedy recovery from what looks to be a very nasty injury.
Everybody at Planet Swans wishes Jordan Morris a speedy recovery from his injury, whatever the diagnosis after today – never a good sight seeing a player leave on a stretcher ☹️#Swans #HTAFC @JmoSmooth13 pic.twitter.com/uyT58CAZeV
— Planet Swans (@swansnews) February 20, 2021
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