Saturday 10 December 2016

I have cleared air with Neil Taylor, says Swans boss Guidolin

Published 15/09/2016 | 11:31

Swansea's Wales defender Neil Taylor was substituted before half-time of the 2-2 draw with Chelsea
Swansea's Wales defender Neil Taylor was substituted before half-time of the 2-2 draw with Chelsea

Swansea manager Francesco Guidolin insists he has no problem with Neil Taylor after replacing the Wales defender before half-time against Chelsea.

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Taylor was the victim of a tactical decision after 42 minutes last Sunday as Guidolin abandoned his three centre-backs experiment and reverted to a flat back four.

The 35-times capped international was visibly unhappy at the call, and could clearly be seen asking, 'Why now?' after taking his place in the Swansea dug-out.

Guidolin said he later apologised to Taylor, but claimed the decision was essential after Swansea, 1-0 down at the time with Chelsea dominating, fought back to draw 2-2.

"I spoke with him (Taylor) on the bench after the substitution and in the dressing room in front of all the players," Guidolin said ahead of Sunday's Premier League trip to Southampton.

"What I had to say, I have said face to face.

"I spoke about it in front of the world in the press conference and for me there is no more problem. It's enough.

"Yes, I don't like this situation, but it's a possibility for a manager.

"I saw many other managers change before half-time and I think it's not a problem.

"But it's not a good moment and I wanted to say to Neil it wasn't an easy decision for me."

Taylor's more immediate problem is trying to oust Stephen Kingsley from the Swansea team.

The young Scotland international has taken advantage of Taylor's extended post-Euro 2016 break to establish him as the first-choice left-back.

But Guidolin gave no guarantees when asked whether Taylor would play at St Mary's on Sunday.

"We have in this period three important games and there is the possibility for him and others to play in one or two or three of these games," Guidolin said, with the Southampton game preceding a cup and league double-header against Manchester City.

"Players have to be ready for two or three competitions, there is no difference between Premier League or (EFL) cup.

"We are focused on Southampton, then Manchester City.

"The draw was not lucky for us, but this is the situation and we will try to play well."

Guidolin hopes to get one over Southampton manager and old friend Claude Puel on Sunday.

Puel was at Lille when Guidolin spent one season at Monaco from 2005-06, and the pair met in the United States during pre-season.

"I know him because we had a common friend in France," Guidolin said.

"I spoke with him in the summer when they were in Washington.

"I was happy for this opportunity because he is a good manager, he has a good history in France."

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