Swansea defender Roberts warns of threat from struggling Stoke
Defender Connor Roberts insists Swansea will not underestimate struggling Stoke despite the chasm between the sides this season.
Saturday’s clash at the Liberty Stadium pits top against bottom in the Sky Bet Championship, with Steve Cooper’s side having taken 21 points from their first 10 games, 19 more than their woefully out-of-form opponents.
However, Roberts is taking nothing for granted after being part of the Swansea side beaten 3-2 by Ipswich at home at the same stage of last season, when the visitors had drawn six and lost five of their first 11 league games.
“If you look at their team, they’ve got some really good players,” Roberts told the club’s website.
“I think they’ve just been a little bit unlucky with results and individual errors and they will be coming down to us determined to put things right.
“You cannot underestimate any side in the Championship. Any side can beat any other on any given day so we have to focus on our own game.
“Our goal is to be top of the table going into the international break. The only way we’re going to do that is by performing well and getting a good result on Saturday.”
Stoke manager Nathan Jones believes he has the backing of the club’s owners but is well aware there will be a limit to their patience.
“They’ve appointed me and trusted me more than I have deserved if I’m honest, but they know the work I do and I’m a fighter who is strong,” Jones said in a pre-match press conference.
“I know they are fully behind me because if they weren’t I would have been gone a long time ago. If results continue as they are I’m not dumb or stupid, there is a certain time limit regardless of whether the owners set one or not.
“Even if they said ‘If you don’t win at the weekend, that will be it’ I wouldn’t come out and say that. However that’s not been said to me but I’m not naive enough to think that this can continue.”
Leeds will aim to keep up the pressure on Swansea as they head to Millwall, whose manager Neil Harris stepped down on Thursday after more than four years in charge.
Huddersfield manager Danny Cowley wants his side to build on their first win of the season when they take on Hull at the John Smith’s Stadium.
“It was great that near-on 1,000 supporters were able to see the victory with us on Tuesday night (at Stoke),” Cowley said.
“We know that we’ve had 20,000 plus at home pretty much all season and they really deserve to have a victory as well, it would be really nice if they could see a win with their own eyes and feel that they’ve contributed.”
Saturday’s early kick-off sees Fulham take on Charlton in a London derby and a win for the Addicks at Craven Cottage will take them above their opponents in the table.
Elsewhere, Bristol City face Reading, Derby welcome Luton to Pride Park, Nottingham Forest take on Brentford at the City Ground and Barnsley travel to Preston.
Blackburn make the long trip to London to take on QPR, while Sheffield Wednesday are at home to Wigan and Cardiff travel to the Hawthorns to face West Brom.