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Paulo Sousa defiant over Swansea City's season

Sousa tells Swansea to battle on

Paulo Sousa has hailed Swansea's season a success even if the Swans fail to qualify for the Championship play-offs.

Swansea, who narrowly missed out on a top-six place last season, fell out of the play-off places for the first time in four months on Saturday.

Blackpool's 1-0 win at Peterborough meant they leapfrogged the Swans who went down 2-0 at Sheffield United.

"Everyone needs to stand up and feel proud for their performances all season," boss Sousa told BBC Sport.

Seventh-placed Swansea City trail Blackpool by one point and must rely on Bristol City drawing with or beating Ian Holloway's Championship form team - who have won six of their last seven - in a potentially tense final day on Sunday.

But Sousa's Swans must also beat Doncaster on Sunday at the Liberty Stadium - and claim just their third win in 11 - if the Welshmen are to have any chance of snatching the final remaining play-off place for a shot at the Premier League.

Former Juventus and Inter Milan star Sousa had the unenviable task of replacing fans' favourite Roberto Martinez last summer.


The Spaniard, who guided the Swans to eighth last term, took top-scorer Jason Scotland and creative force Jordi Gomez with him to Premier League Wigan Athletic.

So Sousa had to quickly rejuvenate the mood at the club and has transformed them into serious play-off candidates.

The Swans had looked favourites for a top-six spot after an 11-game unbeaten league that lasted almost two-and-a-half months but Sousa's side have stuttered at the wrong time.

And following their Bramall Lane defeat on Saturday, Sousa acknowledged that a shot at returning to English football's top-tier after a 27-year absence is now "out of their hands".

"We hope for a bad result from Blackpool," admits Sousa.

De Vries retains Swans hope

"And Bristol City are a good side with quality players. They have a new manager and players will want to impress him."

The former Portugal international insists his players have done "an amazing job" regardless of whether they achieve their play-off dream.

""We need to keep working and believing in our qualities and principles with the same enthusiasm and with the same pleasure to play football and take that into our next game against Doncaster," he added.

Swansea's play-off charge has been built on a resolute defence, conceding just 37 goals, which is the second tightest in the division behind champions Newcastle United.

But the Swans' lack of firepower - just 40 goals - has been their downfall, and they fired their 17th blank as Richard Creswell's double inspired Sheffield United to victory on Saturday.

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see also
Sheff Utd 2-0 Swansea
26 Apr 10 |  Championship
Swans put 'pressure' on Blackpool
25 Apr 10 |  Swansea
Sheff Utd 2-0 Swansea
24 Apr 10 |  Championship
Sousa plays down Tigers job link
23 Apr 10 |  Swansea
Play-off pressure excites Britton
22 Apr 10 |  Swansea
Sousa warning to Swansea's rivals
15 Apr 10 |  Swansea
Jenkins plays down Sousa outburst
13 Apr 10 |  Swansea
Sousa tinkering must stop - Walsh
11 Apr 10 |  Swansea
Sousa reveals Premier 'ambition'
07 Jan 10 |  Swansea
Sensible soccer for Sousa's Swans
22 Oct 09 |  Swansea
Sousa makes glittering entrance
23 Jun 09 |  Swansea
Sousa confirmed as new Swans boss
23 Jun 09 |  Swansea
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales

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