Monday 29 May 2017

Clement believes pressures of working at Bayern Munich and Swansea are similar

Swansea boss Paul Clement says the pressure is as big at the bottom of the Premier League as it is as his former club Bayern Munich
Swansea boss Paul Clement says the pressure is as big at the bottom of the Premier League as it is as his former club Bayern Munich

Swansea boss Paul Clement believes the battle for Premier League safety is as big as his previous search for Champions League glory.

Clement swapped the glamour and glitz of life as Bayern Munich's assistant manager for a survival scrap when he accepted the task of turning Swansea around at the start of January.

So while Bayern were handed a mouth-watering Champions League date with holders Real Madrid on Friday, Clement has 10 games to save Swansea - starting with Saturday's trip to relegation rivals Bournemouth.

But Clement - who won the Champions League in 2014 when he was Carlo Ancelotti's assistant at Real - has no qualms over the decision he made, and even says the pressures of working at Bayern and Swansea are similar.

"It is as big here for us," Clement said, when asked about leaving the Champions League behind.

"Every game it vital. You can fall away from it, be right back in it or open up a little gap at the bottom.

"It is really big, and this game is too because Bournemouth are not far away from us."

When Bournemouth won 3-0 at the Liberty Stadium on New Year's Eve, the Cherries were 10th in the Premier League and 12 points above bottom-placed Swansea.

Bob Bradley had been sacked a few days before that game and Alan Curtis was in caretaker command, with Swansea seemingly heading for relegation.

But Clement soon broke off from his skiing holiday during Bayern's winter break to become Swansea's third manager of the season.

Since then Bournemouth and Swansea have had contrasting fortunes.

Bournemouth's victory over West Ham last weekend was the first in 10 games since their December stroll in south Wales.

Swansea, meanwhile, have won five of their nine games under Clement to climb three points clear of the relegation zone.

Bournemouth are three points better off than Swansea and would take a huge step towards securing their top-flight status by completing a league double.

"They had a bad run, but they've picked up a little bit after the draw at Manchester United when they had 10 players," Clement said.

"They had a good win last weekend and that's big for their confidence.

"It looks like they might have turned a corner, but it's difficult to say if they have momentum.

"It was not looking good for us earlier in the week after the defeat at Hull and a few injuries we had.

"But we have reflected on that defeat and it was very clear where we did not do so well.

"The players understood it, we have trained well, and we are actually in a good place now."

Press Association

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