Swans boss Brendan Rodgers wants promotion for players

Brendan Rodgers
Brendan Rodgers says Swansea have to stay focused on the job in hand

Swansea City boss Brendan Rodgers wants to win Premier League promotion for his players' "great effort" this season.

The Swans are fourth in the Championship, a point off Norwich who sit in the second automatic promotion spot with just six games remaining.

Hull City are the visitors to the Liberty Stadium on Tuesday who boast the Championship's best away record.

"I really want to do it for the players because they've been magnificent," Rodgers told BBC Sport Wales.

"It's a good game for us. It's a game that people outside here were becoming complacent about.

"But this is a great game to refocus that - they haven't lost away since September and they've won their last four games away from home so it will be a real difficult test, but good experience.

"Hull play narrow, defend well, have good organisation and obviously still have funds and money from the Premier League, hence bringing in £1m-plus players in the January window."

Swansea lost 2-0 to Hull on the opening day of the season but have gone on to become serious contenders for automatic promotion while the Tigers are 10th and still hold play-off hopes.

But the most significant meeting between the two sides came on 3 May, 2003.

A 4-2 victory for the Swans in the final game of that season at the Vetch ensured they escaped relegation from the Football League.

Defender Alan Tate and midfielder Leon Britton are the only remaining players at the club from that day and Rodgers points to them as one reason why Swansea deserves Premier League football.

"I was fortunate enough to have been around at a top club at Premier League level and all I want is for this club [to do so as well] - because it deserves it, the people of the city and the football club and more importantly these players," said former Chelsea reserve team boss Rodgers.

"Some of these players [here] played in a game for Swansea against Hull when they nearly went out of business - and nearly came out of the league.

"So I really want to do it for the players because they've been magnificent and they deserve every credit that they get because to be competing where they have been at the top of the division for so long this season has been a great, great effort by them.

"So my only thought on that will be for the Premier League when we get there. There's still a lot of work to do before that. Before then you can't even think about it."

Tuesday [12 April] also marks the third anniversary that the Swans clinched promotion to the Championship at Gillingham under old boss Roberto Martinez, who was credited with starting Swans passing game ethos.

"It [promotion] was fantastic at the time," added a cautious Rodgers, who saw his side lose against Preston at Deepdale 30 years after winning promotion to the old First Division under John Toshack.

"[But] I also went to Deepdale, when there was a great memory and we lost so I'm not looking too much into it.

"I think it's great for the past and there were obviously some wonderful memories, but we also have a sense of the present as well and the present is we're in good condition, we're only a point behind second.

"We're not getting carried away. We know there's a hell of a lot of work to do over the course of the six games, many points still there left to be played for and we just need to focus on that."

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