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Swansea boss Steve Cooper refusing to give up on automatic promotion

Swansea boss Steve Cooper refusing to give up on automatic promotion
© Reuters
The Swans have now failed to score in 448 minutes.

Swansea are not ready to throw in the towel on promotion despite falling to a fourth successive defeat after losing 1-0 to Preston at the Liberty Stadium.

For the third time in that run of defeats Steve Cooper's side conceded a goal to a long throw, the latest one coming in the 91st minute.

They are still in fourth place, but are losing momentum with seven games to go and have now failed to score in 448 minutes.

"We won't give up on automatic promotion, but the top two picking up a lot more points than us makes that difficult," said Cooper.

"We've just got to get back to winning games, and it's hard. You've got to get through the rocky periods, and we are going through a difficult period – I'm not dressing that up.

"If somebody said we would be fourth with seven games to go at the start of the season, I think that a lot of people would have taken it. We know the last four games have not been good enough and we're not happy about.

"But we're still fourth in the league, there are still seven games to play. So, we've got to try and step away from it, get some perspective and realise there's still a lot to play for and we're not going to give up."

The winning goal came as the clock ticked over into the red and was made by a combination of Tom Barkhuizen's long throw and a shot from former Swansea favourite Scott Sinclair that ricocheted into the home net off the back of skipper Matt Grimes.

It was the first time in seven games that Preston had tasted victory and gave interim manager Frankie McAvoy a win to add to a draw in his first game in charge against league leaders Norwich last weekend.

"I am delighted for the players and I thought it was the least we deserved for our efforts," said a delighted McAvoy.

"We worked on a lot of things before the game and they came off – including long throws, where we thought we could cause them problems through our size and presence.

"There is great togetherness, mutual trust and camaraderie within the group that has always been there. It's one game at a time and we will try and keep this going."

"They played really, really well in the first half. I was more pleased with the structure behind the ball than I was last week against Norwich – we looked a lot more solid.

"We thought we could cause Swansea some issues with our long throws and Tommy Barkhuizen has got that in his armoury. We were fortunate enough it fell to Scott Sinclair, but he was there, sniffing about."

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CNorwich CityNorwich462910775363997
4Swansea CitySwansea4623111256391780
8Cardiff CityCardiff4618141466491768
9Queens Park RangersQPR461911165755268
12Luton TownLuton461711184152-1162
13Preston North EndPreston46187214956-761
14Stoke CityStoke461515165052-260
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