Rodgers cautious in top-spot bid

Last updated : 21 January 2011 By BBC Sport

Brendan Rodgers has told his Swansea players to keep focused as they bid to move level on points with Championship leaders Queens Park Rangers.The Swans will join QPR on 49 points if Rodgers' men secure a third successive win at Oakwell and condemn Barnsley to a third successive defeat on Saturday.

But second-placed Swansea have not won away since 4 December at Ipswich Town.

"We need to have big concentration and play with the same focus that we have recently," said Swans boss Rodgers.

"And if we do that, we can get the result."

Swansea, who have won four of their last five games, aim to extend their unbeaten run over Barnsley to 10 matches on Saturday.

The Swans, aiming for their first league double over the Tykes since the 1977/78 season, have won more Championship games this season than any other side on their push for Premier League promotion.

And Rodgers' side, who also boast 13 clean sheets this term, will signify their realistic promotion credentials should they rise to joint-leaders in the Championship on Saturday.

Top-of-the-table QPR do not host Coventry City until Sunday so Rodgers has urged his Swansea, who have already played a game more then most of their promotion rivals, to take advantage.

Britton delighted at Swans return

And Mark Robins' hosts will be without banned centre-back duo Stephen Foster and Jason Shackell.

"Barnsley are a threat," said Rodgers.

"But they will be severely hampered by the loss of their centre-halves.

"Yet that still doesn't take away from my assessment of them them and their manager who is very good.

"They will make it very tough tough for us, especially at home."

Barnsley have won just once in their six games since beating Sheffield United 1-0 at Oakwell on 11 December - which was their fourth win in an unbeaten run of five games.

Swansea new boy Leon Britton played for United in that Yorkshire derby defeat.

And the midfielder is set to make his Swans debut at Barnsley since completing his return move back to the Liberty Stadium from Bramall Lane.

"There is a bit of rivalry between the Yorkshire clubs," said Swans fans' favourite Britton.

"So maybe I will get a bit of stick."

Britton is back for his second spell at Swansea - following an unsuccessful six-month spell at United - and is hoping to aid their promotion push.

"I have gone from relegation battle to promotion fight overnight," admitted Britton.

"The boys have done brilliantly so far. I've watched from a distance and we are in a very strong position."

Source: BBC Sport

Source: BBC Sport