Swansea boss Brendan Rodgers still aiming for second

Swansea City manager Brendan Rodgers is clinging on to the hope of guiding his side to automatic promotion.

The Swans were held to a goalless draw at Fratton Park and are six points behind second-placed Norwich with three Championship games remaining.

"It's possible," he said. "You can only win your games and we go into Monday in a really good frame of mind.

"We'd have liked to have won, but it was important we stopped a wee bit of a rot which had set in."

The stalemate at Fratton Park ended a run of four straight away defeats for Swansea, a sequence which has seen them lose significant ground to fellow promotion chasers Reading, Cardiff City and Norwich.

Their trademark slick passing style was again absent against mid-table Pompey, and few clear opportunities were created.

Scott Sinclair could have grabbed a late winner, but the top scorer failed to connect properly with a left-foot volley from six yards with the goal at his mercy.

But Swansea, who prepared for the game by spending three days at y plush hotel to "relive the pressure", did manage to eradicate the defensive mistakes that have crept into their recent away performances.

"It was an excellent performance," said Rodgers. "Of course we want to win every game but what was very pleasing is that we had that spirit back again defensively.

"We came to a team with a lot of players with Premier League experience. They always make it difficult for you.

"We had to defend balls into the box and against a big side. If we can't win a game we always talk about not losing.

"It ends a run and more importantly for me we've got that spirit back that we had earlier on in the season in relation to keeping clean sheets. We'll look to build from there."

A home match against 13-placed Ipswich awaits the Swans on Monday, and Rodgers stressed their aim remains to catch those ahead of them rather than staying clear of those teams hoping deny them a top-six finish.

"We've worked very hard to get that cushion but our thoughts are always looking upwards rather than downwards," he said.

"Of course there's work for other teams to do. But we can only concentrate on ourselves. We're obviously very strong at home, but it's another tough game for us on Monday.

"We've been very, very good at home. The first thing was to consolidate in the play-offs and once we've done that, we'll look elsewhere.

"But three games to go, we've still got everything to go for and today [Saturday[ could be a big turning point for us into this latter part of the season."

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