A remarkable run which Swans need to end

It will not take Middlesbrough’s analysts long to figure out one area where Michael Carrick’s side might hurt Swansea City at the Riverside this Saturday.

Set-pieces have become a serious issue for Swansea in recent weeks.

Remarkably, in fact, every goal the Swans have conceded since their 2-1 defeat by Ipswich on 17 February has stemmed from either a free-kick or a corner.

It is probably fair to say that without set-piece goals, Swansea would no longer be part of the relegation conversation in the Championship.

Queens Park Rangers’ Steve Cook was the latest player to expose their frailty, with the centre-back rifling home a volley to give the Hoops victory at the Stadium on Monday.

As a result, not for the first time in Luke Williams’ brief Swansea reign, his team emerged from a game where they controlled long spells with nothing.

There are attacking issues, too, of course, with Swansea creating enough opportunities to beat QPR but not taking any of them.

But it must be particularly frustrating for Williams that his team are having so much difficulty dealing with dead balls.

Swansea have conceded six goals in their past seven games - against Rangers, Sheffield Wednesday, Bristol City, Watford, Blackburn and Sunderland - with their one clean sheet during that sequence coming against Cardiff City.

There is some irony there given that the Bluebirds have scored more set-piece goals than any other side in the Championship this season.

The Cardiff shutout suggests that when it comes to dealing with dead balls, Swansea can do it.

But Williams must wish they would do it a bit more often.