Swansea City look destined to join the long list of recently relegated sides who have failed in their attempts to return to the Premier League at the first attempt. The Swans have lost seven of their last ten in all competitions, and six from eight in the league, to drop 12 points off the Play-Off pace, albeit with a couple of games in hand.
Those bare facts do mask some impressive performances in recent weeks, Manchester City were pushed all the way in the Quarter-Finals of the Emirates FA Cup while Norwich City, West Bromwich Albion, and Nottingham Forest were fortunate to record victories over Graham Potter's side last month.
The Swans have relied heavily on youth this season with Daniel James in particular catching the eye. The winger netted one of Swansea's four second-half goals during our Emirates FA Cup tie back in February and has taken over the mantle from top scorer Oli McBurnie, who has just three goals in his last eight games.
Rico Henry, Daniel Bentley, and Romaine Sawyers all missed Saturday's draw at Wigan Athletic while Yoann Barbet was forced off due to injury. Lewis Macleod did come on to make his first appearance of 2019.
Swansea have Wayne Routledge back in contention again after missing Saturday's trip to Nottingham Forest following the birth of his child. Oli McBurnie might not be ready for two games in four days while Joe Rodon is still not fit.
Graham Potter's path to the top job at Swansea City is not one which many managers have followed.
Solihull-born Potter spent a decade in the lower leagues of English football, starting off at home-town Birmingham City before spells with Stoke City, Southampton, where he made eight Premier League appearances, West Bromwich Albion, York City, Boston United, and Macclesfield Town.
After making nearly 400 appearances, he retired in 2005 and, shortly after, graduated from the Open University with a degree in Social Sciences. Potter then spent five years working in University football, latterly combining his time as assistant coach at Leeds Metropolitan University with a masters in Leadership and Emotional Intelligence.
In December 2010, he took charge of Östersund, then a fourth-division side in Sweden. He earned back-to-back league titles during his first two-years in charge before taking Östersund to the top flight in 2015. In April 2017, he guided OFK to the Swedish Cup and, later that year, made history with his side becoming the first Swedish club to progress beyond the Europa League group stage. Potter joined Swansea in June after nearly eight years in Sweden.
At Östersund, he encouraged his players and staff to engage in community activities, such as performing in theatre and music productions designed to take them out of their comfort zone.
Our last league meeting saw three early goals set The Swans on their way to victory despite a spirited Bees comeback.
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