Jones hopes Swansea's recent penalty fortune is ended at Kenilworth Road

Town chief speaks after City are awarded four spot-kicks in their last four games

By Mike Simmonds
Friday, 12th March 2021, 6:25 am
Andre Ayew scores from the spot against Blackburn Rovers in midweek
Andre Ayew scores from the spot against Blackburn Rovers in midweek

Luton boss Nathan Jones is hoping that Swansea’s good fortune from the spot runs out at Kenilworth Road this weekend.

After not having previously not had one in 25 Championship contests prior, the Swans have now been awarded four in their last four Championship matches.

Steve Cooper's side were given their first in the 3-1 defeat at Bristol City late last month, when Kasey Palmer was penalised for handball allowing Andre Ayew to do the rest.

He followed that up in controversial style against Stoke City in stoppage time at the start of March when Kyle Naughton went down very easily in the area, City winning with what turned out to be virtually the last kick.

The former West Ham attacker was at it again from 12 yards in the 90th minute as Swansea beat Middlesbrough, referee Gavin Ward initially giving a corner, only to change his mind.

Ayew then added a fourth at Blackburn on Tuesday night, a match that Jones was at, as when asked if the nature of the penalties was something he had taken into account ahead of the game, the Town manager said: “Totally and I agree, I don’t like speaking about other teams and players, but I was at the game at Blackburn on Tuesday night.

“My immediate reaction, which has been backed up, was that it probably wasn’t a penalty.

“Then I watched the Stoke game and thought it was a tough one, I haven’t actually seen the Middlesbrough one, but I’ve been told that that was extremely harsh as well.

“I’m sure things even themselves out over a season, but in the last four or five games they’ve had four penalties.

"Sometimes the wind blows your way, but we’ll be hoping that no poor decisions are made by our players and anyone else in the stadium.

“But you can’t plan not to give a penalty away.

"You’ve just got to defend well and hope that the right decision has been made on the day.

“I do understand because I thought it was extremely harsh on Blackburn, from the stand.”

Boro boss Neil Warnock made reference to Swansea boss Steve Cooper’s dad, Keith, a former top-flight referee after his side left the Liberty Stadium empty-handed recently.

He told the BBC: “The penalty at Stoke the other night was scandalous.

"They must be laughing their heads off at the minute, but what goes around comes around so I'm sure we'll see Swansea next year.

"They can't keep having that much luck with penalties. I don't know whether it's Cooper's dad who's influencing this. He must have all the numbers, Keith.

"It's the only thing I can think of but, joking apart, they can't keep having decisions like that. It's got to come back and bite them."

Jones, however, wasn’t taking it quite that far, adding: “I know Neil Warnock mentioned something about Keith Cooper, who’s a friend of mine.

“I’ve known Keith for years, who is obviously Steve’s dad, but it was a bit of a tongue-in-cheek comment.

“I don’t think anyone purposely thinks, ‘it’s Swansea so we’re going to give them a penalty,’ but they’ve just had a bit of a fair wind lately, and that sometimes can happen.

“They’re a forward-thinking side, so they can create chances, but we hope we’re not speaking about Swansea getting any kind of penalty, let alone a harsh one.

“We’d like to get one of any description.”