Swansea City boss Steve Cooper insists he will keep the faith in forward Jamal Lowe, but admits a few of his players may well benefit from a rest over the upcoming international break.
The former Wigan star has struggled to recapture the scintillating form he showed earlier in the season, where he netted seven goals in as many games.
However, he hasn’t yet found the net since Barnsley back in January.
Tuesday night’s draw at Blackburn Rovers saw Lowe extend his goal drought to 10 league games, but Cooper insists he’s pleased with the forward’s contributions.
Asked what he could do to remedy Lowe’s struggles in front of goal, Cooper said: “Just keep carrying on. Carrying on. Showing him even more belief than we have in him already, which is authentic.
“I think Jamal’s been excellent for us this season. I think he’s added something we didn’t have certainly in my time here.
“Fantastic attitude. Great guy and he’s an important player for us.”
Nevertheless, with Swansea harbouring increasingly strong ambitions for promotion to the Premier League, Cooper admits Lowe, and indeed other forward players, need to start firing again.
However, he believes the 26-year-old is still adjusting to his new role as an out-and-out striker, and insists it would be wrong to judge Lowe’s performances purely on his ability to find the net.
“It’s not just about the goals,” Cooper added. “I understand the question, he’s played more central than he’s ever played before and this is a completely new role for him, and when you play there goals is something that’s looked at.
“But it’s not the only thing we look at. Do we want our players at the top end of the pitch to score goals? Of course we do, but we want them to do lots of other things as well and we’re not going to be too narrow minded to not do that.
“So, carry on. We’re finding ways to win and get points. We have done all season without an out-and-out starting number nine and so we’ll continue our work.”
Lowe’s lack of goals has coincided with ever-increasing concern around the levels of fatigue in the squad, although Cooper admits there may well be scope for some stars to recharge their batteries over the upcoming international break.
“The international break, you have to use it wisely,” he continued. “I think there’s a chance to get a lot of things from it. If rest is one of the returns you can get from it, then great.
“I think it’s a chance to get some work done on the training ground and a chance to get some individual work done, a chance to revisit some of the principles.
“I see the international break as an opportunity to maximise as opposed to a chance to down tools and we’ve always done that, and we’ll aim to do that in the next one, but we’ve got three games to play and that has to be where our attention lies.”
After Tuesday’s clash at Blackburn, Swansea now make the 400-mile round journey to Luton Town on Saturday, ahead of another 300-mile trip to and from Bournemouth three days later.
Then, of course, it’s back home for the small matter of a south Wales derby.
Seven of Swansea’s final 12 games are away from home, and Cooper admits the long journeys on the road could well compound an already gruelling Championship schedule.
“It adds to the challenge for sure,” he added when talking about the amount of time Swans are set to spend on the road.
“But we have said from day one that it’s a challenge that we want to embrace and we want to tackle head on.
“This week in particular with Blackburn then on to Luton, then to Bournemouth, but it’s not a surprise, we know what’s coming and if we can get through it, then it’ll be brilliant and that’s our aim.”