A mixed fortune in terms of results has seen the Swans take maximum points from their home games over the festive period, whilst two tough fixtures on the road has seen them fail to pick up a point away from home over Christmas.
After suffering a heavy defeat at the hands of league leaders QPR on Boxing Day and losing vice captain Alan Tate following his dismissal for a coming together with Clint Hill, Brendan Rodgers made six changes to the starting eleven for the visit of Barnsley two days later.
A complete change in attack saw Stephen Dobbie and Jermaine Easter picked in favour of Beattie and Pratley, and in the midst of a busy Christmas schedule it seemed Joe Allen and Scott Sinclair were rested with the visit of Reading in mind.
Having not started a game in over two months Dobbie looked sharp against the Tykes and posed a threat from the outset - involved in some great link up play he came close to opening the scoring, as well as providing good opportunities for Easter and Cotterill. A Jermaine Easter goal mid way through the first half and some great saves from Dorus De Vries proved enough to see the home side pick up their first three points on home soil since 14th November.
New Year’s day brought Reading to South West Wales.. In a game where the Swans seemed to have the upper hand in early exchanges, injuries to Orlandi and Taylor inside the opening half hour disrupted the Swans dominance and rhythm. However after appeals for hand ball in the box were waved away, the ball fell to Darren Pratley on the edge of the area who was able to convert and in the space of four days, the home side were victorious with a 1-0 goal margin.
The busy period has also seen some crucial injuries picked up. Possibly the most worrying being that of Neil Taylor. With Alan Tate still serving his suspension after his sending off at Loftus Road, the injury to Taylor against Reading saw teenager Jazz Richards drafted into first team action for the first time in the league this season as the Swans travelled to Leicester.
After going a goal behind in the first half, the Swans got back on level terms through a super Scott Sinclair strike, but with few other chances for the visitors the home side were able to regain the lead and just like their opening goal found the break through from a set piece.
Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.
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