Swansea City have enjoyed a positive start to the season but the real test begins now.
Graham Potter has managed to rally his troops in difficult circumstances following a disastrous transfer window.
The Swans went into the international break just goal difference from the top six after taking 11 points from their first six games.
However, the Swans return from the international break to face three very difficult tests in the Sky Bet Championship.
After these three difficult games, we may get a far better idea of where Swansea could end up at the end of this season.
At the moment, the Swans are performing on the pitch but a lack of depth, leading to tired legs, has left most fans waiting for the inevitable drop off.
It hasn’t arrived just yet, and if Graham Potter has his way, it won’t arrive at all. But the reality is that this squad has been left thread-bare and the Swans boss has a mightily difficult task on his hands to prevent it.
We don’t know when or indeed if the crash will come, but one thing we do know, is that we will know far more about Swansea City, their character and their durability after the next three games.
Here’s who the Swans face in a busy and testing week.
Nottingham Forest (H) – Saturday 15th September
Forest made a statement in the summer with some big signings, but they haven’t matched their ambition off the pitch with performances on it.
They have taken just seven points from a possible 18, leaving them in mid-table after the first chunk of fixtures.
However, with Aitor karanka leading the Forest operation, there’s no doubt they will come to form at some point to set their eyes on the play-offs.
The Spaniard is an excellent Championship manager and with a squad like the one he has, with depth and quality in abundance, there’s no excuse if he fails to mount some sort of play-off bid.
This is the first game back from the international break, so the Swans should be fresh and at home, they will be looking to take all three points here, regardless of the quality Forest possess.
Stoke City (A) – Tuesday 18th September
Stoke City have endured a disastrous start to the season despite being tipped as one of the favourites ahead of the season’s kick-off.
The Potters have a mouth-watering team and one of the highly rated managers of the division in Gary Rowett.
However, things just haven’t gone right so far and they find themselves all the way down in 18th having picked up just five points from six games.
Having said that, Stoke will likely pick up as the season goes on and any points taken from the Bet365 Stadium will surely look far more valuable come the end of the season.
This will be a huge test for the Swans with Stoke looking to put things right at home. This test against one of the strongest squads in the league also comes on a Tuesday night.
Right off the back of the Forest clash, this will be a huge test for the Swans as they look to prove the ‘lack of depth’ theory wrong. It’s something they will have to do if they are to be successful this season.
Middlesbrough (A) – Saturday 22nd September
If the Tuesday night trip to Stoke doesn’t leave Swansea reeling, a long trek North to face Middlesbrough just four days later will definitely put them to the test.
Unlike Stoke, Middlesbrough have started the season like a house on fire, picking up 14 points from a possible 18, sitting second, separated from top spot only by goal difference.
With Tony Pulis at the helm, the Teesiders have been tipped for promotion by many this season and they haven’t disappointed with their start.
This will be the most difficult of the three games from the Swans and it comes on the back of two games in a short space of time.
This will be the third game in a week for Graham Potter’s men and that’s already proved to be a problem this season. Any points here would be a huge bonus, regardless of where Swansea are hoping to end up this season.