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Swansea V Blackburn at Liberty Stadium : Match Preview
Published : 14 Apr 2012 10:14:20Rss feed
Rodgers urges Swans to regroup
Swansea manager Brendan Rodgers says Saturday's Barclays Premier League meeting with Blackburn represents the perfect opportunity to bounce back from a miserable run of four defeats. Wednesday's 3-0 reverse at QPR added to previous losses against Everton, Tottenham and Newcastle, a sequence that has seen the Swans drop from eighth to 14th in the table. It also means Swansea have still yet to confirm their top-flight status with their advantage over the bottom three, which was at one stage 17 points, now cut to 10 points. While Swansea's destiny is very much in their own hands, the disappointing nature of the performance in defeat to QPR means a big improvement is needed to avoid another reverse that could lead to some end-of-season jitters. And the test of facing Rovers, currently 19th in the table after their midweek defeat to Liverpool, is coming at the right time, according to Rodgers, who believes one more win would be enough to see his side safe.
"Against QPR I thought it was the worst we have been, it was just too easy and that is not like us," he said. "We have a perfect game on Saturday now and we need to respond. "I have always said we needed to win one game now in these last five games. "We owe the supporters and I apologise to them because they travel everywhere for us and give us incredible backing. "I think we let them down at QPR. In fact, I know we let them down so we need to give them back something back this weekend. "As I said, we need to re-focus and get our concentration back on the game." The Northern Irishman has insisted his players cannot afford any complacency despite the impact they have made on the Premier League with the possession style that has won them so many plaudits. And while he does not believe his players have taken their foot off the gas, he acknowledges that current results would suggest that is not the case. "I wouldn't like to think (we have been complacent) but I think it is one where the results maybe dictate otherwise," he said.
"I have always said you cannot take your foot off the pedal because this is what happens. "If you believe you're safe and you believe everything that you read and people tell you, you know can what can happen. "One loss turns into four losses and that can escalate very quickly, so it is up to me and the players now to re-focus. Saturday is a big game for us." Rodgers could choose to make changes following the disappointing defeat. Left-back Neil Taylor and winger Wayne Routledge were withdrawn at half-time at Loftus Road, and their replacements Alan Tate and Nathan Dyer may be in line for starts against Rovers. Swansea picked up no fresh injury concerns in Wednesday's loss. Midfielder Kemy Agustien (ankle) is the only long-term absentee.
Blackburn boss Steve Kean is confident Rovers have more than enough time to get out of trouble as they bid to end a run of four successive Premier League defeats. Back-to-back victories over Wolves and Sunderland last month looked to have taken Kean's side to the verge of safety but they have failed to pick up a point since and other teams have taken advantage. Blackburn's loss to Liverpool on Tuesday coupled with wins for QPR and Wigan the following day means Rovers head to the Liberty Stadium three points from safety with five games remaining, which include away matches at Tottenham and Chelsea.
Kean said: "We've worked on the bits we feel we can improve on and we'll go down to Swansea and try to do the double over them. "They've got a very good home record but we know if we can get a clean sheet and a victory, and then match what we did against Wolves and Sunderland, where we had back-to-back victories and back-to-back clean sheets, then the whole table changes again. We're still confident we can get into a good position." Blackburn have doubts over defenders Bradley Orr and Martin Olsson. Orr is struggling with an Achilles problem while Olsson has complained of tightness in his groin but Kean is optimistic both will be fit. Striker Anthony Modeste will definitely be available after seeing his three-match ban for a red card against West Brom reduced to one match, which he served during Tuesday's defeat by Liverpool.
Swansea V Blackburn - view commentary, squad, and statictics of the game live.
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