SWANSEA CITY’S star striker Jason Scotland has admitted sharing his goal burden could be the key to ending the club’s nine-game winless streak.
Roberto Martinez’s men dominated once again but, as has been their downfall in recent weeks, were unable to take their chances in front of goal.
Normally in this situation fingers would be pointed at the strikers.
But, considering Scotland has four goals in his last five games and is the only Swansea player to trouble the scorers in more than 500 minutes of football, it’s hard to see how he can take the blame.
In fairness to the rest of Martinez’s squad, ‘blame’ is probably the wrong word anyway. It’s more a case of collective responsibility.
A large part of their recent troubles comes from the fact Swansea no longer have goals coming from all over the pitch.
In fact, with the exceptions of the now-sidelined Ferrie Bodde, Spaniard Jordi Gomez and, to an extent, Darren Pratley, they barely have goals coming from anywhere other than Scotland.
It’s a stark contrast to last season when, with four players reaching double figures and several others easily past the five-goal mark, a wealth of attacking threats was the key to the Swans’ promotion success.
Scotland’s Golden Boot winning haul of 29 goals may have spearheaded the attack but, when he faltered, there was almost always someone else to pick up the slack.
As impressive as their overall displays have been, that hasn’t really been the case this year.
And, particularly since Bodde was ruled out for the season with a cruciate knee injury, at times it has been hard to see where a goal will come from if Scotland doesn’t take his chances.
And it’s a point that has clearly been playing on the striker’s mind. While he is confident it’s only a matter of time before his team-mates start chipping in more regularly, that showed when he was asked if an over-reliance on his goals could go some way to explaining the recent run of draws.
“I knew you would ask me that and to be fair you probably have a point,” he conceded.
“Last season Ando (Paul Anderson) had 10 goals and so did Robbo (Andy Robinson).
“But it’s just a spell we are going through. In time that will change and we will start hammering teams.
“Some of the boys just aren’t getting the goals they deserve for the way they play.
“Hopefully they will get going sooner rather than later though.
“When the other players start getting goals as well it will take a lot of pressure off me.”
As for whether missed chances were affecting his confidence, the 29-year-old continued: “It’s not really like that because I have nine goals in the Championship.
“So I will just continue getting my head down and get more.
“But sometimes you just think, as a striker, after two 0-0 draws in a row, if I had scored we would have probably won the game.
“You want to do well and score goals for the team so we can start moving up the table. So it’s disappointing when we create so many chances and don’t win the game.”
Scotland’s disappointment is certainly one that is shared by the rest of the squad.
But, like his team-mates and manager, the Trinidad and Tobago international is at a loss to explain why his fellow Swans are struggling to find the net.
One answer is to point out the higher standard of defending in the Championship compared to League One. But that is taking the easy way out.
If the standard of defending was the problem, it would be impossible for the Swans to create such a plethora of chances.
In reality it’s what they do with those chances that is hampering their progress. And successful teams do share the goals around.
Along with regular substitute Gorka Pintado, last summer’s only new arrival in the striking department, the midfield need to start scoring more regularly.
If Scotland goes through the sort of five-game barren run he is occasionally prone to, someone will have to step up to the plate.
Should that happen, with the back five looking an increasingly cohesive unit, a genuine play-off push could still be possible.
If it doesn’t, their debut Championship campaign is destined to finish, albeit credibly, in mid-table.
Scotland himself has every confidence the latter scenario won’t be a problem. And, insisting a few visits from Lady Luck will make all the difference, he claimed it’s only a matter of time before the Swans get the rewards their performances deserve.
“It’s just a case of luck,” he said. “We aren’t getting the rub of the green at the moment.
“We are creating chances and that is the most important thing.
“If we weren’t doing that there would be no way we could win.
“It’s just not happening for us at the minute. But if we hang in there and keep playing our football, hopefully it will.
“At the start of the season we would come to teams knowing it would be a good battle. But now we come knowing we will have the majority of possession.
“If we get an early goal we could probably go on to hammer teams.
“But sometimes that early goal doesn’t come and we get stuck in a dogfight.
“It’s just the goals that are missing now.”
As for how Swansea managed to let victory slip away against 10-man Birmingham, he responded with a rueful smile: “I don’t even know how to start answering that question.
“We should be happy to get a point at St Andrews but we are disappointed we didn’t get all three. We created enough chances to put it away but for some reason we didn’t.”