SportsBarnsley FC

'Fans may have to be patient'

Reds boss Keith Hill reckons that supporters might have to show a little patience in Saturday’s cup clash wth Premier League new boys Swansea City.

The Swans, having swept into the top flight in such style, have maintained their eye-catching brand of pass-and-move football this term.

Said Hill: “In the possession stats I believe they are ranked fourth worldwide, behind the likes of Barcelona. That’s some achievement.

“They love to retain possession, and pass the ball about. They have players who are very, very comfortable with the ball at their feet.

“I’d like our supporters to be patient. Swansea may end up with more possession than us, but this is the FA Cup and surprises can happen.

“It’s a pressure-free game for us. We are the underdogs, we are up against a Premier League side in extremely good form, so we have nothing to lose by going out and giving it our best shot.

“Swansea have been to non-league and back again. The education and club structure that has seen them get to the top division was put into place bu Roberto Martinez, and, following a brief spell where they had Paolo Sousa, Brendan Rodgers has taken that to the next level.

“There has been a vision there, a plan of how to play. It has been short-term, medium-term and long-term. It has paid off for them.

“That is something we are trying to put in place here at Barnsley Football Club. Financially we are not well blessed. We have to make ends meet.

“And first and foremost we have to get to base one; which is retaining our Championship status. The league is the biggest, most important thing for this football club.

“But I’ve never been on a cup run – and we have the opportunity to test ourselves against a top flight team, with pride and prize money at stake, and possibly a big financial gain if we can win and progress further.

“I am looking forward to Saturday against Swansea. It promises to be a proper football match.”

While Hill may be unable to tinker too much with his team due to the smallness of his squad, injuries, and the fact that both Danny Haynes and Nathan Doyle are out of favour, Swansea boss Rodgers could make a number of changes to the side that won so impressively at Aston Villa on Bank Holiday Monday.

Hill reflected: “My team pretty much picks itself. We are down to the bare bones but at least we had no more injuries coming away from the Doncaster game.

“Jim O’Brien is still a big doubt with his stomach muscle injury.

“There is a possibility that Danny Drinkwater might feature, but if so it might be minimised. I’m looking more at him for the Leicester City game the following week.

“I think that Miles Addison will be given the go-ahead to play for us in the cup.”

The game on Saturday is classed as a Category C fixture, which means that adult supporters will be charged £16.

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