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Wayne Routledge’s goal – combined with the stumbles of other Championship clubs above them – has suddenly revived Swansea City’s play-off hopes.
The Swans are still rank outsiders to finish in the top six. But as they ended their awful run of away defeats with a 1-0 win at Ipswich, plenty of other results went in their favour on Bank Holiday Monday.
Graham Potter’s side have moved up to 10th in the table and have cut the gap between themselves and the top six to just five points.
Potter had previously written off his team’s chances of making the play-offs, but argued afterwards: “The play-offs is a big outside possibility, but we have to keep winning our games.
“The fact we are still talking about it as a possibility heading towards the last weeks says a lot about our group.
“We will keep going, we need to win our two games at home and then we see.
“We want to finish the season as strongly as we can. The play-offs is out of our hands, but we look towards the next match and we will try and win.
“In terms of chances it could have been more than 1-0, but we needed to take our chances to make it more comfortable than it was.”
A week ago, the divide stood at nine points, but other clubs above them continue to drop points, with Middlesbrough and Bristol City the latest to suffer.
Boro crashed to a 3-0 defeat at Nottingham Forest, while Bristol City went down 2-0 at Sheffield Wednesday.
That left Derby County to move into sixth place, thanks to a 2-0 win over QPR.
The remaining three fixtures now hold out some realistic hope for the Swans, since one of those is at home to Derby on Wednesday May 1.
If the Swans can beat Hull at home this Saturday, follow that with victory against the Rams, and end with a win on the final day at Blackburn Rovers, they will reach 71 points.
Crucially, Bristol City host Derby this weekend and if that game ended in a draw, then the Swans would be right back in contention.
The Robins end with two away fixtures – at Millwall and Hull. After Derby have gone to Bristol, they visit the Swans and then finish their campaign at home to West Brom.
Boro have only two games left – at home to Reading and then a trip to Rotherham.
The Swans had lost seven consecutive games on their travels prior to playing the Tractor Boys but Routledge’s 57th-minute goal secured the points for the visitors.
The visitors should have gone ahead as early as the fifth minute when a glaring error from Ipswich’s Toto Nsiala let in Daniel James, but the Welsh striker could not find the target when clean through.
Ipswich’s first effort came a minute later when Gwion Edwards curled his shot over from outside the box.
Swansea’s George Byers was booked for diving in the 16th minute after he went to ground attempting to round Town goalkeeper Dean Gerken in the box.
Jay Fulton’s strike from distance for Swansea was comfortably taken by Gerken as the visitors probed the Ipswich back-line.
The Swans came close again on the half-hour mark, Oliver McBurnie found Fulton in the box but the midfielder’s curled effort was diverted over by Routledge’s outstretched boot.
Ipswich’s best chance of the half came in the 39th minute when Will Keane’s close-range effort came back off the post following an Andre Dozzell corner and Trevor Chalobah fired the follow-up wide.
Kyle Naughton’s shot was saved by Gerken after a Swansea break and Nsiala headed over for the Tractor Boys from Alan Judge’s deep corner just before half-time.
The Swans started the second half brightly and Gerken produced a good stop to keep out James’ curled effort from the left-hand side of the box in the 54th minute.
The visitors took the lead three minutes later when James’ shot from distance was tipped onto the post by Gerken before Routledge pounced to slam the rebound home.
Ipswich made a double substitution in the 66th minute, throwing strikers Kayden Jackson and Collin Quaner on for Dozzell and Keane as they sought an equaliser.
McBurnie then glanced a near-post header over from James’ cross in the 73rd minute as the Swans looked to extend their advantage.
Ipswich’s best chance for an equaliser came four minutes later when Flynn Downes found Quaner on the left, but Swans goalkeeper Kristoffer Nordfeldt was equal to the German striker’s side-footed effort.
Judge’s strike for Ipswich from distance did not trouble Nordfeldt and Swansea were comfortably able to end their barren away run, much to the delight of their travelling supporters.
The post Swans’ Win – And A Helpful Fixture Run-In – Puts Them Back In The Play-Off Picture appeared first on Dai Sport.
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