Thursday 17 August 2017

Clement confident Swans can remain afloat

Swansea City 2-0 Stoke City

Swansea City manager Paul Clement celebrates at the end of the match. Photo: Reuters
Swansea City manager Paul Clement celebrates at the end of the match. Photo: Reuters

Independent.ie Sportdesk

Paul Clement believes Swansea have rediscovered the momentum to win their Premier League survival battle.

Swansea ended a desperate run of one point from six games by beating Stoke at the Liberty Stadium, Fernando Llorente and Tom Carroll the men on target either side of half-time. Hull remain two points above the Swans in 17th place after beating Watford, but Clement feels the momentum has shifted back to his side.

Swansea City's Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring their first goal. Photo: Reuters
Swansea City's Fernando Llorente celebrates scoring their first goal. Photo: Reuters

"I felt a more positive, vibrant dressing room," Swansea head coach Clement said. "Everyone knows that they put in a good shift physically, and played well tactically and technically. Hopefully it gives us that impetus to go on and finish really strongly.

"Yes, we are two points behind Hull and they are in the driving seat. But we're right behind them, breathing down their necks, and we'll do that to the very last game."

Clement had called the contest a "must-win game" before kick-off as he predicted that Hull would beat Watford at home which the Tigers duly did.

"It's the first time I've called it as a must-win game," Clement said. "If the gap had gone to five points with four games left I think it would have been very difficult for us. Although the points difference hasn't changed, what has changed is we've put that poor run of form behind us.

Swansea City's Kyle Naughton in action with Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic. Photo: Reuters
Swansea City's Kyle Naughton in action with Stoke City's Marko Arnautovic. Photo: Reuters

"Today's changed it. That's important psychologically going into the next four games, the next is a big test at Man United."

Stoke manager Mark Hughes bemoaned Marko Arnautovic's missed second-half penalty as the turning point.

Arnautovic sent his 69th-minute spot-kick, awarded for Federico Fernandez shoving over Xherdan Shaqiri, high over the crossbar moments before Carroll's deflected drive gave Swansea a vital second-half cushion. "The second half we were the more dominant side, but obviously the match-defining moment was the penalty," Hughes said.

Sunday Indo Sport

Editor's Choice

Also in Sport