Luke Williams has challenged Swansea to build on their 2-1 victory over Blackburn.

Williams finally earned his first home league victory at the fifth attempt thanks to first-half goals from Joe Allen and Jamie Paterson.

The Sky Bet Championship’s top scorer Sammie Szmodics pulled a goal back for Blackburn just past the hour mark, but Rovers were unable to make their second-half dominance pay.

It meant back-to-back Championship wins for the Swans for the first time since October and Williams wants more.

“We started on the front foot and were very strong,” said Williams. “Back-to-back wins are brilliant because they start to build belief.

“I am really proud of how we withstood that comeback from them in the latter stages of the game because the opposition had nothing to lose, threw everything forward at us and we stood up to a lot.

“But we need to improve how we attack a lead, rather than defend a lead. That’s the bit we need to improve – to see a game out more comfortably. It was more anxious than I would have liked.

“But I felt something from the connection between the players and the fans that I hadn’t felt before. We have to build on it.

“It was a really good feeling. The fans have been great. After we have lost, they have shown us some love, but it always feels much better when you win.”

Blackburn are now without a win in their last six matches in all competitions and although they are 17th in the table, they are only a point above the drop zone.

Rovers manager John Eustace said: “I’m disappointed to have lost the game because I felt in the first half we started slowly and conceded two really poor goals.

“That hasn’t been like these boys since I’ve come in, but I thought we grew into the game and we still had three or four really good chances where we should have scored. We need to be more clinical.

“The character in the group is fantastic. We kept going and we scored a good goal to get back into it. But, unfortunately, we couldn’t quite get the equaliser.

“I thought we deserved a point at the end of the day. The way we started we were a bit sluggish. It could possibly have been because of the midweek game (against Newcastle in the FA Cup), but we have to be more clinical.

“We don’t give up and the fight is there for all to see. We have 11 big games coming up.”

Luke Williams finally earned his first league home victory as Swansea head coach at the fifth attempt with a 2-1 win against Blackburn.

Williams’ previous four Sky Bet Championship matches in front of Swansea fans had all ended in defeat, but first-half goals from Joe Allen and Jamie Paterson enabled him to break that sequence.

The Championship’s top scorer Sammie Szmodics pulled a goal back for Blackburn just past the hour mark, but Rovers were unable to make their second-half dominance pay.

It meant back-to-back league wins for the Swans for the first time since October.

But Blackburn are now without a win in their last six matches in all competitions and although they are 17th in the table, they are only a point above the drop zone.

Swansea started positively and were rewarded when they went ahead in the seventh minute through Allen’s second goal of the season.

Winger Przemyslaw Placheta did the hard yards on the left and when his cross was not cleared properly, former Wales international Allen was able to drill his shot downwards and bounce it into the far corner.

Blackburn found the pace of Placheta and fellow wide man Ronald difficult to handle, with Kyle McFadzean picking up an early yellow card for a foul on Ronald.

But Rovers also added to their own troubles by giving the ball away and it was from such an error that they fell 2-0 behind after 19 minutes.

Andrew Moran lost possession under pressure from Swans skipper Matt Grimes with the ball falling into the path of Paterson.

He swept past McFadzean before firing low past Blackburn keeper Aynsley Pears from the edge of the box.

Rovers’ own attacking threat was minimal in the opening half hour with a shot from Callum Brittain that flashed past the far post, and another from the wing-back that was held by keeper Carl Rushworth.

But their efforts intensified just before the break and Tyrhys Dolan saw one effort saved and another go just wide of the post.

Blackburn made two substitutions at half-time – bringing on Arnor Sigurdsson and Yasin Ayari – and looked more threatening.

It needed two timely interventions from Swansea centre-back Ben Cabango to keep out Rovers striker Sam Gallagher as the visitors looked for a way back into the contest.

Cabango stepped up for a third time to block an effort from Szmodics, but moments later Rovers’ top scorer had pulled a goal back with his 25th of the season in all competitions.

A free-kick on the right from John Buckley reached Szmodics and the striker reacted sharply to sweep the ball home in the 67th minute.

Blackburn were now in the ascendancy and Swansea were clinging on to their narrow advantage.

But from a rare home breakout, substitute Jerry Yates should have given Swansea breathing space, only for the striker to dither over his shot which enabled Pears to save.

Despite defending for most of the nine minutes of added time, Williams’ side kept Rovers at bay.

Sunderland interim head coach Mike Dodds admitted his “bold” tactical changes and selection backfired after the 2-1 home defeat to Swansea.

In his first game as caretaker boss after Michael Beale was sacked earlier this week, Dodds was without injured star man Jack Clarke and made four changes as well as switching to a back three.

But it didn’t go to plan for Dodds and Sunderland, who were outplayed in the first half by Swansea and the visitors took complete control thanks to Ronald’s quickfire double.

Sunderland improved after the break and halved the deficit through Luke O’Nien but couldn’t force an equaliser.

“It didn’t work, it doesn’t take an expert to see that,” admitted Dodds.

“One thing I demonstrated last time I was in this role and that’ll I’ll keep reiterating is that while I’m in this position I’ll continue to make bold decisions. Sometimes that will be a positive, sometimes a negative.

“We’ve got to take that first 45 on the chin, me, the staff and the players. I wouldn’t have sent the players out if I wasn’t confident the message was really clear, so that’s something as a collective we all have to take on the chin.

“I know I’ve been really bold in terms of my decisions and how I’ve tried to set up, I’m not going to take all the responsibility because it’s a relationship between me and the players.”

Only three Championship players have scored more than Clarke this season and the winger was always going to be a big miss after suffering an ankle injury in last week’s defeat to Birmingham.

Dodds said: “Any team in this league would miss Jack Clarke and Dan Ballard but I won’t make excuses.

“I won’t shirk away from the responsibility of being head coach and the fact the first 45 wasn’t acceptable.”

Swansea are now four points above the drop zone after bouncing back from successive home defeats with a much-needed victory.

Boss Luke Williams said: “The first half in particular was strong. I think we were good value for the result.

“We have been seeing some really good performance markers in games but it’s difficult when the result is negative.

“We felt we were improving bit by bit and today is a big step forward.

“Ronald deserved both the goals. He’s deserved one or two more key actions in previous games. He was a huge threat. He’s so quick and direct and I’m really happy for him.

“We need now to try and improve so that we can control longer periods of the game. The opposition was brilliant in the second half and put us under a lot of pressure but on the flip side I saw the team defending well.”

Sunderland goalkeeper Anthony Patterson almost scored a dramatic stoppage-time equaliser after going up for a corner but was denied by Swansea counterpart Carl Rushworth.

Williams added: “Rushy is incredible. He’ll be a top keeper. He’ll be with us next season but after that I think he’ll be a top Premier League goalkeeper.”

January signing Ronald scored a first-half double for Swansea as Mike Dodds’ first game as Sunderland’s interim boss ended in a 2-1 defeat.

Dodds impressively led the Black Cats to two wins from three games during a stint in charge in December after Tony Mowbray’s dismissal and was handed the reins until the end of the season after Michael Beale’s sacking earlier this week.

But the home side were outplayed by Swansea, who eased their relegation woes with a deserved win that moved Luke Williams’ side four points clear of the drop zone.

The visitors could have been out of sight after a one-sided first-half display but Ronald’s double – the 22-year-old’s first goals since joining from Gremio in January – was enough as Swansea got back to winning ways after two home defeats.

Luke O’Nien gave Sunderland hope late in the second half but the Black Cats couldn’t force a leveller. The Black Cats have now lost three games on the bounce and their play-off hopes are fading fast.

Swansea headed for Wearside having won only one of their previous seven Championship games but threatened to run riot in a dominant first half, with Ronald’s quickfire double putting the visitors in complete control.

The Brazilian opened his account after 19 minutes when he was on hand to tap in a rebound after Anthony Patterson initially kept out a Liam Cullen header.

His second was a superb finish, taking down Joe Allen’s through ball with a neat first touch before lashing low beyond Patterson.

It could have been much worse for the hosts.

Ronald fired wide at full stretch after a sublime Allen pass and fellow winger Przemyslaw Placheta could have had a hat-trick himself.

He somehow blazed over from just six yards, hit the post with a close-range header and had a shot from the edge of the area deflected just wide.

At the other end, Sunderland offered next to nothing, their only two shots on target in the first half being tame Abdoullah Ba and Nazariy Rusyn efforts that were easily saved by Carl Rushworth.

There was a bit more purpose to the home side’s play early in the second half and Pierre Ekwah went close with a curling strike from distance that shaved the top of the crossbar before Ba flashed a dangerous drive across the face of goal.

Sunderland halved the deficit 13 minutes from time when O’Nien headed in an Ekwah cross from the left.

They almost levelled in dramatic circumstances when Patterson went up for a corner and forced a superb save by Rushworth deep in stoppage time.

Kieran McKenna insisted weekend wins for Leeds and Southampton had “zero impact” on Ipswich after a 2-1 success at Swansea maintained their push for an automatic promotion place in the Sky Bet Championship.

First-half goals from Nathan Broadhead and Conor Chaplin – his 50th for Ipswich – proved enough to beat hosts Swansea, who are now only four points above the relegation zone.

It was Ipswich’s second away win the space of four days and came after second-placed Leeds had won their lunchtime appointment at Plymouth and Southampton had beaten West Brom on Friday.

“I know (those wins) had zero impact on me, that’s the honest truth,” said Ipswich boss McKenna, whose side are a point behind Southampton and three adrift of Leeds with a game in hand.

“Sometimes you worry things like that will infiltrate the group and they will worry about other teams’ results.

“I don’t get any sense of that from the group whatsoever. They share my feeling that they are doing incredibly to be as competitive as we have been at this level.”

Ipswich, promoted as League One runners-up last season, have lost only four times in the Championship and led after 13 minutes through Broadhead’s 11th goal of the campaign.

Chaplin restored the lead soon after Jerry Yates’ first-half equaliser and Ipswich showed resilience to hold Swansea’s improved showing after the break at bay.

McKenna said: “I really enjoyed it. It was a tough game, a proper game and took a really good performance to come out on the right side of it.

“I thought we showed the best bits of ourselves at different stages of the game.

“We played some really brave football in tough conditions and our organisation to limit them to opportunities in free play was good.

“It was an excellent performance, those are the margins we’re going to have keep fighting at to keep coming out on top at this level.”

Swansea’s defeat was their fifth in seven league games under Luke Williams, who was appointed in January following Michael Duff’s dismissal the previous month.

Williams said: “We worked really hard to get back in the game after giving the goal away.

“Then OK let’s stand in the middle of the pitch and cross our fingers. That’s not a tactic.

“We have to improve, we have to play every second of the game.”

On Swansea’s slump that has left them looking nervously over their shoulder, Williams added: “We’ve played Southampton, Bournemouth (FA Cup), Leicester in a row. That was very difficult.

“Take out Leeds (when Swansea lost 4-0) and in the other games we have been very competitive. We need to win the games when we have a really good chance.”

Ipswich kept up their push for an automatic promotion place in the Championship as Conor Chaplin claimed a landmark winner in a 2-1 victory at Swansea.

Chaplin scored his 50th Ipswich goal to restore a first-half Ipswich lead that had been wiped out by Jerry Yates four minutes earlier.

Nathan Broadhead had earlier put the Tractor Boys ahead as Ipswich maintained their pursuit of Leeds and Southampton, above them in second and third place.

Ipswich remain a point behind Southampton and three shy of Leeds with a game in hand.

Playing after Leeds and Southampton had recorded weekend wins, Ipswich stood firm in the wet Welsh weather to see off opponents who rallied in the second half without success.

Swansea have won only one of Luke Williams’ seven league games – five of which have been lost – and are now only four points above the relegation zone.

There was an intensity about Swansea’s early play that had been absent from Tuesday’s 4-0 home defeat to Leeds.

But that tempo did not translate into chances and Ipswich threatened before Broadhead struck his 11th goal of the season.

Kyle Naughton’s mistake allowed Broadhead to set up Leif Davis for a 20-yard shot that Carl Rushworth helped over the crossbar.

Cameron Burgess planted Sam Morsy’s inviting cross wide, but Ipswich hit the front after Omari Hutchinson slipped Broadhead through and the Wales international advanced to produce a deft finish.

Kieffer Moore might have doubled the lead from Davis’ corner but his header was misdirected and Rushworth held another attempt from the Wales striker.

Yates had managed a rare home effort and the striker soon equalised after 31 minutes with his eighth goal of the season.

A free-kick routine saw Matt Grimes find Ben Cabango at the far post and Yates profited from his knockdown via a post.

Parity was only briefly restored as Davis pulled down Burgess’ raking pass and broke beyond the Swans’ defence.

Davis picked out the unmarked Chaplin, who was 27 on Friday, and he buried his 10th goal of the campaign with it also being the creator’s 10th assist from left-back.

Chaplin fired wide just after the restart and Massimo Luongo saw his ambitious effort comfortably saved by Rushworth, but Swansea were much improved in the second period.

Ronald centred and Grimes got an important head on it but Yates was unable to connect at the far post.

Ipswich almost extended their lead on the hour as Broadhead slipped in the willing Moore and Rushworth produced a telling touch to divert his ferocious drive on to the crossbar.

Vaclav Hladky preserved Ipswich’s lead by pulling off a stunning stop to claw away Harry Darling’s deflected cross, while Wes Burns struck the post in the dying seconds at the other end.

Daniel Farke praised his players’ “perfect” approach after Leeds thrashed Swansea 4-0 to climb into the top two of the Sky Bet Championship.

Leeds secured a seventh-consecutive league victory in south-west Wales before the added bonus of Southampton’s 3-1 defeat at Bristol City allowed them to move back into the automatic promotion places.

“The win is just about us and what we do, our points tally,” Leeds boss Farke said when asked about Southampton’s first defeat since September 23.

“If you want to finish in the top positions, you need a special amount of wins and average points per game.

“We have a better average of two at the moment and that is quite impressive.

“In the last 20 years, above two points per game was always enough in position one.

“It will be difficult with (leaders) Leicester, but overall our record is really impressive and the best that the club has had in its history at this moment.”

Crysencio Summerville and former Swansea striker Joel Piroe – who was promoted from the bench moments before kick-off after Patrick Bamford suffered a leg injury during the warm-up – rewarded a positive Leeds start inside 10 minutes.

Wilfried Gnonto added another before the break and wrapped up matters with his fourth goal in as many games, 18 minutes from time.

Farke said: “It was a massive win for us. Swansea are normally a really good possession side and we needed to be spot on with our pressing – and we were.

“Our players executed the game plan in a perfect way. We prepared our final pass very well and we did that in the first half.

“In the second half, we could have been more aggressive. We allowed them a few half chances and crosses.

“But overall, we scored four goals and kept another clean sheet. It was pretty impressive.

“In terms of how we executed the game plan, it was the most disciplined and spot-on performance of the season.”

Swansea remain seven points above the relegation zone and have won only one of Luke Williams’ six league games in charge.

Williams said: “It was a tough evening because we did not compete properly. Too timid.

“You cannot play like that. We played as if we were too scared to press and we allowed them time at the back of the pitch.

“We caused ourselves huge problems and then when we got in close contact, we didn’t win enough tackles.

“If we’re going to compete with these top teams we have to play a top model of football and that requires intensity and bravery.

“But you can’t compete against Leeds playing like that.”

Leeds swept aside Swansea 4-0 to claim a seventh-consecutive Sky Bet Championship victory and equal their biggest win of the season.

The hosts were left facing an uphill battle that proved well beyond them after Crysencio Summerville and former Swansea striker Joel Piroe struck inside the opening 10 minutes.

Wilfried Gnonto added a brace to make it four goals in as many games, with Daniel Farke’s side maintaining their push for an automatic promotion spot in style.

Leeds had four former Swansea players in their matchday squad.

Joe Rodon was at the heart of the defence and Piroe was drafted in to the attack after Patrick Bamford was injured during the warm-up.

Wales internationals Connor Roberts and Daniel James – fit again after three weeks out with a hip injury – were among the substitutes.

Relegation clouds were starting to hover over Swansea but they had been lifted by their weekend win at Hull, their first league success under Luke Williams at the fifth attempt.

The Welsh club’s feel-good factor quickly evaporated as Leeds cut through them at will in the opening stages and showed a ruthless edge in front of goal to match.

After Swansea failed to clear their lines, Summerville scored his 16th goal of an increasingly-productive campaign with the help of a deflection off Jay Fulton.

Two minutes later, Piroe – who scored 46 Swansea goals before joining Leeds for a reported £12million fee in August – was granted the freedom of a familiar penalty area to race on to Gnonto’s pass.

Piroe’s shot had enough power to beat Carl Rushworth, who got a hand to it but was unable to deny the Dutchman his 11th Leeds goal.

Rushworth prevented Gnonto and Georginio Rutter from adding to Swansea’s misery, while Illan Meslier thwarted Brazilian winger Ronald at the other end.

Ronald tangled with Junior Firpo, while some Swansea fans called for a penalty, but those appeals fell on deaf ears and Leeds effectively settled the contest after 35 minutes.

Gnonto burst onto Archie Gray’s clever pass and advanced unchecked before cutting inside Ben Cabango.

The Italy international kept his composure to find the bottom corner of Rushworth’s net from 10 yards.

Swansea almost reduced the deficit at the start of the second half with Ronald, their main source of danger, firing a shot goalwards that Jamie Paterson diverted just wide.

Paterson was on the end of another chance moments later but he sent his volley over before striking the Leeds wall from a free-kick.

Leeds had taken their foot off the throttle in the second half as if the job was done.

But Gnonto profited from another quick break, fed by Summerville and driving low past the exposed Rushworth as Leeds matched their four-goal December victory over Ipswich.

Liam Rosenior felt Hull’s 1-0 home defeat to Swansea was deserved after they dropped out of the Sky Bet Championship’s top six.

Liam Cullen scored after 10 minutes as the Swans pulled further away from the relegation zone by beating a Hull side who lacked the final pass to open up their opponents.

Rosenior admitted: “We didn’t deserve anything today. One of the few times I can say that since I’ve been here.

“When you do that, you give the opposition momentum. Credit to Swansea, we gave them a leg up and they won the game.”

Swansea benefited from Cullen’s free run into the area and Rosenior admitted his players needed to be more astute in that kind of situation.

He said: “If we mark the player properly we don’t get blocked. That’s the things we work on in training.

“One, our performance wasn’t good enough by our standards, and two, we’ve cost ourselves a point.

“We gave the ball away cheaply and when you do that you give the opposition energy, you give them oxygen.

“I told (the players) what we have to improve on. We have to bounce back from the setbacks. We need to learn on the job.”

Cullen got the only goal of the game when he ran into the Hull area to meet a low corner with a pinpoint shot which nestled in the bottom-left corner of the goal.

Hull looked short of the ideas which could have unlocked the determined defending of Swansea and their best chance fell to second-half substitute Billy Sharp.

The forward got on the end of a long pass from Ozan Turfan and prodded the ball past onrushing goalkeeper Carl Rushworth, only to see Nathan Wood race back to clear short of the goal-line.

Turfan had headed straight at Rushworth when the ball fell to him unmarked in the Swansea area in a first half where the Tigers lacked the nous to unlock the visitors’ defence.

Cullen could have doubled his tally in the second half only to shoot wide when well-placed.

Luke Williams felt his side deserved to take the win and also praised the work of assistant Alan Sheehan on set-pieces after Swansea claimed the winner from a well-worked corner routine.

Williams said: “I think the players deserved that, a fantastic performance and even more fantastic result.

“There are quite a few things, the openings that we made were very deliberate.

“I loved the work-of-art set-piece, and the players delivered on that and scored.

“When you watch Alan go to work on a set-piece and then see the players deliver on that it’s a privilege.

“We scored a goal away from home against a very good team and the back-line led us well, they kept us aggressive.”

Williams praised Cullen for the way he had come into the team in place of Jerry Yates to score the only goal.

“Liam has come in said ‘I need to do the same level of work that Jerry has done and take my chance’.

“We have lovely competition between these two players, it’s good to develop this kind of rivalry within the team.

“I really felt a strong positive energy in the changing room going into this game and we played like we believed.”

Hull’s Sky Bet Championship play-off hopes suffered a blow with a disappointing 1-0 defeat against Swansea at the MKM Stadium.

The Tigers had gone into the game in the top six, but it was the visitors who eased their relegation fears by claiming all three points.

Swansea went ahead after 10 minutes as Liam Cullen got on the end of a corner from the left to steer a low shot into the bottom-left corner and the home side struggled to create clear scoring chances in response.

Josh Tymon created the first opening for the visitors after seven minutes but his driven cross from the left was too quick for any of his team-mates to connect with in the Hull box.

With 10 minutes gone, Swansea forced the first corner which Tymon swung in low from the left and Cullen ran in unmarked to steer a left-foot shot inside the near post.

Hull tried to respond, and Anass Zaroury swung in a cross from the left but it was too far in front of Regan Slater’s run to threaten the Swansea goal.

The Swans should have had a second after 22 minutes when the ball came in from the right, but Przemyslaw Placheta headed back across the area when he should have aimed for an open goal.

Hull were getting punished for mistakes and only a tackle in his own area by Slater halted another attack before Ronald fired over following a free-kick.

Ozan Turfan headed straight at Carl Rushworth when the ball dropped to him in the area with Hull’s best chance on the half-hour.

A surging run by Jaden Philogene was halted by Ben Cabango’s foul but the fact the Tigers wasted the free-kick was indicative of a lacklustre first-half display and they trailed at the break.

A raking pass down the middle from Alfie Jones found Turfan just offside as he ran towards the Swansea goal in the opening minutes of the second half.

Billy Sharp replaced Lewie Coyle after 54 minutes and nearly made an instant impact as he reached Turfan’s through ball before Rushworth, but Nathan Wood got back to clear his prodded shot just short of goal.

Cullen nearly had his second when Hull failed to clear a cross but steered his shot just wide of a post.

Tymon fired in a cross from the left which Ryan Allsop beat away at his near post for a corner, but Swansea could not repeat their first-half goal as Jamie Paterson fired his volley off target.

Philogene forced Rushworth to save with his knees at the near post as the home side looked for a late equaliser.

Allsop beat away a rising shot from Tymon and then gathered the loose ball as Swansea pushed for a second goal, but they had already done enough to claim the points.

Swansea head coach Luke Williams struggled to hide his frustration after the Whites went down to a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship defeat to Plymouth.

Morgan Whittaker struck the only goal of the game after 18 minutes – his ninth in his last 10 games as Argyle made it six games without defeat.

Back-to-back Championship defeats and a fourth loss in a row in all competitions leaves Swansea head coach Luke Williams still searching for his first league win since he took charge.

It also leaves the Swans just five points clear of the relegation zone.

Williams said: “I am frustrated that we didn’t turn really good actions into goals. When you create 19 chances and at least four of them are in the six-yard box, there’s not an excuse to not win the game.

“What is it that’s wrong with those chances? For me, nothing. It’s just concentration, finish the action correctly and we’ll win the game of football.

“The goal we conceded, we lose concentration again from a long ball forward. Whittaker hits the shot that leads to the corner. Then, from the corner we switch off, the player gets blocked and it’s a good strike.

“It’s unfair that he (Ronald) doesn’t have at least one assist. We tried to make it clear what his role is.

“We have had a few guys to interpret on the training pitch and I am really happy because he didn’t try to do his own thing or show off.

“He just tried to play in the game I asked him to play it – so much energy, so many runs in behind. So many players don’t want to do that because it’s hard, you have to keep sprinting and then you have to provide for someone else.

“I want him to feed the striker. I am happy with him.

“I don’t like that (relegation situation), of course I don’t like that. We need to concentrate on trying to play really well.

“If we can create 19 chances every week and create openings in the six-yard box, we’d have to be a very unlucky team to suffer more.

“We have some tough fixtures but that’s the job. There’s no sulking or feeling sorry for myself.”

Plymouth head coach Ian Foster was glad to see his side grind out a victory.

He said: “In my short time at the club, we have had to find a way of winning on the road. Sometimes you have to make sacrifices in order to do that.

“Our challenge is to maintain the attacking threat we have but from a really solid defensive structure.

“That was probably a perfect performance today in terms of doing that.

“Of course at times we have to get better with the ball, but we have to start somewhere. We have to get the points on the board.

“I have worked with Morgan in the England pathway, so I know what he is capable of.

“I took him and his partner for breakfast on Wednesday, the day after the club turned down a bid for him from Lazio.

“It was just to see how he is and see what we can do to help him and keep him focussed on his game.

“It’s my job to continue to develop him into the player we all hope he can be.”

Carl Rushworth says it will be a proud moment to wear the names of grandparents Francis and Isobelle on his warm-up T-shirt as Swansea raise cancer awareness on Saturday.

Rushworth, the on-loan Brighton goalkeeper who was part of England’s Under-21 European Championship-winning squad last summer, lost two of his grandparents to cancer and Plymouth’s visit to South Wales carries special significance for the 22-year-old.

Swansea have joined with the charity Maggie’s for a ‘Tackling Cancer Together’ campaign and players will warm up ahead of the Sky Bet Championship clash with names of family and friends impacted by cancer printed on their shirts.

The English Football League has approved Swansea wearing the Maggie’s logo on the playing shirt as a one-off, while supporters have shared stories of a disease that now sees one in every two people diagnosed with it at some stage of their lives.

“Everybody knows somebody who’s been affected by cancer or someone who has sadly passed away because of it,” Rushworth told the PA news agency.

“Wearing the shirts and having names of loved ones on the back of them is massive for the players, and also for the fans in bringing the community together.

“It shows we’re all in the same boat and cancer affects everyone. I’ve seen fans telling their stories on social media and the Plymouth game will touch the hearts of the lads.”

Rushworth’s own story is a common tale of loss and tears that devastates families: his grandmother Isobelle died when he was a few months old, his grandfather Francis when he was 12.

“I was really close to my grandad, he was always around the house treating me and my sister when my mum and dad probably didn’t want him to,” said Rushworth.

“He was more into rugby but he was always there at the park when I was diving around the place. He probably pushed me into being a goalkeeper.

“He was a massive part in my upbringing and I was in shock really when he died. As I was growing up it hit me more that he wasn’t there.”

Rushworth has arguably been Swansea’s player of the season after previous loan spells away from the Seagulls at Worthing, Walsall and Lincoln.

Released by Huddersfield at the age of 15 – “it was tough because I felt like I was going to get a new contract and I was confused by that rejection” – Rushworth rebuilt his career at hometown club Halifax before joining Brighton in 2019.

He has since played over 100 games in the EFL, made his U21 international debut and kicked on again at Swansea while working alongside former England and Wales goalkeeping coach Martyn Margetson.

“Every time I’ve been with England it’s been a pleasure, to be around the quality of players there,” said Rushworth.

“I want to see where I’m at, realising that’s Premier League quality or Championship quality and where do I fit in.

“If I do well I can hopefully be in the conversation with England in a few years’ time.

“The peak of any career is to play at international level and it would be foolish if I wasn’t aiming for that. That’s my dream, to play in the Premier League and for England as well.”

Leicester manager Enzo Maresca admitted he did not want Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall to leave, but said the player’s future was now a matter for the club.

Dewsbury-Hall scored the opening goal after only three minutes as Leicester moved 10 points clear at the top of the Championship thanks to a 3-1 victory over Swansea.

The midfielder is thought to be a January transfer target for Brighton, but Leicester want at least £30million for him.

Two goals in three minutes sealed the points for Leicester with Stephy Mavididi scoring from the penalty spot, and Yunus Akgun adding a third.

But Maresca said Dewsbury-Hall had not been affected by the transfer speculation leading up to the game.

“I don’t want Kiernan to go – ask the club if we need to sell or not,” said Maresca.

“The only way we can do something is to sell players. I don’t think that Kiernan’s future was about this game. Kiernan is a Leicester player, hopefully he can play in the next game.

“Here, he showed once again he is in love with the club, if something will happen now, I don’t know.

“He cares about the club and he has 10 goals this season, probably for the first time in his life, these kind of things, people don’t give the right importance to and it’s not a good thing.”

Maresca also sensed the frustration among the home supporters at times, even though Leicester are dominating the English second tier.

“You can feel the fans when they’re not happy, some people take things for granted,” said the Italian coach.

“We have won 26 of 34 games this season, unbelievable, a huge number.

“The only thing I can say is that people think it’s easy, but it’s not. I came to this club to play with this idea, the moment there is some doubt about the idea, the day after, I will leave, it’s so clear.”

Swansea manager Luke Williams was left frustrated as he searches for his first league win since taking over.

“Leicester are a fantastic side who played in a fantastic way, they unlocked us,” he said.

“We held our own after the first goal, but you need to be clinical to come away with anything from Leicester.

“But then it was really quite frustrating to lose concentration, the second two goals were gifts.

“We made it a little bit too easy for those goals. I haven’t seen the penalty back, but what I know is that what came before it was a lack of concentration and focus and you cannot do that against a top side.

“It’s really difficult and challenging for the players to concentrate for 96 minutes against a side posing so many questions, but if you want to compete at the right end of the division, it’ll require the players to be focused for the entire game.”

Williams admitted his first win in the Championship with Swansea could not come soon enough.

“We’ve had very tough fixtures, but it’d be lovely to get a victory for sure,” he said.

Williams said he expected to be busy as the transfer deadline approached.

“We’re going to be trying to bring the right players in, but it’s challenging,” he added.

“I hope it’s busy and I hope it’s fruitful as well.”

Leicester moved 10 points clear at the top of the Championship following a convincing 3-1 victory over Swansea.

Enzo Maresca’s side took the lead through Kiernan Dewsbury-Hall after only three minutes.

Dewsbury-Hall is believed to be a January transfer target for Brighton, but he showed no signs that the speculation was affecting his game.

Leicester then missed a number of opportunities to put the game beyond Swansea’s reach, before Stephy Mavididi scored a 69th-minute penalty and substitute Yunus Akgun added a third, just three minutes later.

Joe Allen scored a stoppage-time consolation goal, but the result left Luke Williams still searching for his first win as Swansea manager.

Leicester took the lead after only three minutes as Dewsbury-Hall scored his 10th goal of the season

Patson Daka played the ball through Nathan Wood’s legs for Dewsbury-Hall, who took his time before picking his spot and putting the ball past Swansea goalkeeper Carl Rushworth.

But Leicester should have added a second after 19 minutes when Dewsbury-Hall crossed from the right for Daka, who was back in the team after returning from the Africa Cup of Nations with Zambia. But he sliced the ball wide from four yards out.

Leicester came close adding a second on the stroke of half-time when Mavididi’s shot from the edge of the area was tipped on to the crossbar by Rushworth.

Dewsbury-Hall then set up Daka for another chance, but he put his effort over.

The hosts had another chance to score – six minutes after half-time – and this time it was Dewsbury-Hall’s turn as he put a Dennis Praet cross wide from close range at the far post.

Swansea defender Harry Darling then went off injured after 61 minutes.

Leicester’s Kasey McAteer saw a long-range effort fly over the bar and Swansea almost hit back straight away when Jamie Paterson went close from 20 yards out.

But the Foxes finally found the net after 69 minutes from the penalty spot.

Daka took the ball off Swansea’s Bashir Humphreys on the halfway line and raced towards goal.

Wood caught up with the Leicester striker but was penalised for a lunging challenge, missed the ball and left Daka falling over in the box. Wood disputed referee Keith Stroud’s decision, but Mavididi stepped up to convert the spot-kick.

Leicester were three up after 72 minutes as substitute Yunus scored for the second-successive game.

Galatasaray loanee Yunus made the most of some hesitancy in the Swans defence to pounce following a poor clearance from Rushworth.

Swansea scored in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Jay Fulton’s cross was headed back into the six-yard area by Ben Cabango and Jerry Yates failed to connect before Allen scored from eight yards out.

Bournemouth manager Andoni Iraola admitted man-of-the-match David Brooks came up with the perfect answer to being left out of his team during the 5-0 FA Cup thrashing of Swansea.

Wales international Brooks made the most of a rare start this season by scoring one goal and making two more as the Cherries cruised into round five on Thursday night.

Iraola said: “The wing position is where we have more options and they are all playing really well.

“Sometimes it is difficult to leave players out. David played really well tonight.

“We were really clinical and started very strongly. It was strange to score five goals in the first half.

“We did not want to start slowly as we have in other cup games this season and were really impressive.

“Our number one priority was to be in the next round. We needed a very good performance after Sunday’s game against Liverpool, where we didn’t finish well.

“We have done our job and we are in the last 16 so let’s see what we get in the draw.”

The Cherries took the lead in the seventh minute when defender Lloyd Kelly came up from the back and found himself unmarked to hook Brooks’ free-kick into the roof of the net.

Three minutes later Brooks broke free down the right before pulling the ball back for Alex Scott to make it 2-0.

Kyle Naughton hit the post for the visitors before Luis Sinisterra scored Bournemouth’s third goal with a confident finish into the far corner, after Swansea goalkeeper Andrew Fisher had passed the ball straight to Scott.

Brooks had to wait until 10 minutes before half-time to get the goal he fully deserved after keeping himself onside to latch onto Dominic Solanke’s slide-rule pass before side-footing past the helpless Fisher.

Top scorer Solanke, who had already fired wide from another Brooks free-kick, grabbed the home side’s fifth a minute before half-time after more dreadful defending from the visitors.

Sinisterra played in a teasing low cross from the left wing and Solanke was left with the freedom of the penalty area to side-foot his 14th goal of the season from 10 yards out.

Swansea manager Luke Williams said: “It was a horrible night for us.

“I apologised to the players because I tried to set the team up to give a problem to the opposition. It is a cup game and we have to try to find a way to win.

“But I put the balance wrong, with too many players in advanced positions and then in the turnover there is not enough bodies to stem the flow of the attack, and the opposition were very good.

“In the second half we had more bodies back, but then it was very difficult for us to get near their goal. We tried to limit the damage because the scoreline was too heavy.”

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