Sheffield Wednesday boss Steve Bruce on parachute payments, Swansea City and Graham Potter

Two of the Championship's biggest underachievers go head-to-head at Hillsborough this weekend.

Friday, 22nd February 2019, 13:46 pm
Updated Friday, 22nd February 2019, 13:47 pm
Swansea City boss Graham Potter

Three points and two places separate Sheffield Wednesday and Swansea City in the second-tier. Both have been blighted by patchy, inconsistent form and look destined to finish in mid-table.

After a disappointing first half of the campaign, the Owls sacked manager Jos Luhukay and hired promotion expert Steve Bruce.

Swansea City boss Graham Potter

As for the Swans, the Welsh club have struggled to adapt to life in the Championship. Graham Potter's side, relegated from the Premier League last term, currently occupy 13th spot.

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But Swansea head to South Yorkshire in high spirits after booking their place in the FA Cup quarter-finals by coming-from-behind to beat Brentford last Sunday.

Bruce said: "Of course, it is very difficult for a team coming down from the Premier League, even if you have been there for years like Swansea, to adapt.

"Inevitably you have to lose some players and you have some that don’t want to play in the Championship.

"You have those problems and unless you face the Championship head on then it finds you out and I think Swansea have witnessed that.

"How many times have we seen when we expect a team to bounce back and they have been found out?"

Despite being armed with parachute payments, nineteen senior players have left Swansea since the club dropped out of the Premier League. Potter has blooded a host of youngsters as part of his Swans rebuild.

"I think that’s the frustration for a club like ours, Birmingham, Derby; they are without parachute payments and they have owners who want to invest and basically your hands are tied behind your backs unless you have parachute payments," said Bruce.

"I have to say parachute payments doesn’t guarantee you a place back but of course it does help with Financial Fair Play.

"Supporters now are sick to the back teeth of hearing about it but it’s a reality now and part of life in the Championship.

"Without parachute payments then it is very difficult for all of us and there are a lot of clubs in a similar boat to us."

Potter succeeded ex-Owls boss Carlos Carvalhal, who departed after Swansea went down on the final day of the 2017-18 season, at the Liberty Stadium last summer. Potter, who started his coaching career at the University of Hull and Leeds Beckett University, enjoyed an excellent seven-year stint in Sweden with Ostersunds FK, steering the club from the fourth tier all the way to the top-flight. He also won the Swedish Cup.

"Of course we know how well he did abroad and he showed promise there by taking a small club all the way through the divisions and into Europe so it’s great the Brits can go and do it abroad," said Bruce. "We don’t do it very often.

"Congratulations to him. He has gone and done it a different route and he’s gone to Swansea. Certainly when his team is playing they are playing a certain way and if we are not at our best we will be beaten by them.

"I’ve got the greatest of admiration for people who have come up a different way. He probably thought ‘am I going to get a route through’, went a different way and in Sweden he did very very well."