Tuesday 25 October 2016

Awkward! Sacked Francesco Guidolin turned up at venue of Bob Bradley's Swansea unveiling

Nick Mashiter

Published 07/10/2016 | 19:55

Bob Bradley, pictured, has replaced Francesco Guidolin at the Liberty Stadium
Bob Bradley, pictured, has replaced Francesco Guidolin at the Liberty Stadium

Francesco Guidolin made a surprise appearance in the same hotel where his successor Bob Bradley was about to be unveiled as Swansea manager on Friday afternoon.

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Italian Guidolin, sacked by the Swans on Monday, spoke to a Swansea official - who explained the press conference was due to take place - before walking away.

It is understood Guidolin had arrived for a meeting of his own and had not realised Bradley would be present. Swansea usually hold press conferences at their own Liberty Stadium, but that was unavailable on Friday due to the Ospreys' rugby match against Cardiff Blues.

Bradley used his press conference to insist his nationality had nothing to do with him landing the job as he looks to earn respect in England.

The 58-year-old arrived from Le Havre to become the first American to manage in the Premier League.

Bradley, who has previously taken charge of the United States and Egypt, joins with the Swans 17th in the table after just one league win this season.

Ryan Giggs and Paul Clement were also linked to the role but Bradley believes he did not get the job because of his nationality and the club's American majority shareholders, Jason Levien and Steve Kaplan.

"I'm not a pioneer, I'm not an American manager, I'm a football manager," he said.

"Now, when I come here, there's not one person in Swansea who could care less about what anyone in the US thinks. They care about their club and I am here to give everything I have for the fans, the club and I couldn't be more excited about the chance.

"As you get older what you learn is you really understand who you are and what you're all about. I have been in enough interviews and sometimes your agent tries to coach you and I tell him to shut the front door and make him understand I don't go into interviews to sell myself.

"I go in to let people know who I am and to try to figure out who they are. So I had a discussion with (chairman) Huw Jenkins, I enjoyed it, and a few days later I had a discussion with Jason and Steve and Huw.

"I spoke about who I am, how I see football and how I work. At the end of both of the interviews I said, before the Liverpool game (a 2-1 defeat) 'let's be clear about one thing, I hope you win and I hope you keep winning'.

"It's not like you want a job because they've lost matches. I don't know Francesco. I've heard he's a really good man and I know what he's done in his career so I don't sit there and hope his team loses and he gets sacked. I hope they win and he's here.

"At the end of it I say that because I want people to know who I am and, at some point, they may think there's something about that guy that might fit."

Bradley had previously been linked to Aston Villa and joined Le Harve in 2015, missing out on promotion to Ligue 1 on goals scored to Metz when they finished fourth last season, and he believes he has earned a chance to manage in England.

"You guys have written my name a few times in the last few years, most of the time I never got on the shortlist, maybe once," said the American, who confirmed he would retain the core of the Swans' coaching staff, including first-team coach Alan Curtis.

"One of the reasons I never got on (the shortlist) is you have a lot of great managers to pick from. In those kinds of situations the decision-makers may not know who I am and they may not actually look very hard.

"It would sometimes come out I was frustrated by a lack of opportunities but the word frustrated was wrong. I always felt I had to earn it."

Swansea have not won in the Premier League since the opening day of the season and have lost five of their last six league games but Bradley believes he has seen enough this week to turn them around.

He told a press conference on Friday: "We've had a very difficult list of fixtures. Sometimes when results go against you and you lose a bit of confidence things start to slip a little. I see a little of that and so at the beginning with the group I tried to say 'you know how to play football, I've seen you'.

"We've got to be honest that some things need to be better again but it's normal work."

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