Spanish striker Fernando Llorente sees his future at Swansea
Published 27/11/2016 | 11:36
Fernando Llorente is determined to stay at Swansea after settling the craziest Premier League game of the season.
Spanish striker Llorente came off the bench against Crystal Palace to score twice in injury time and secure an incredible 5-4 home win to pile the pressure on under-fire Eagles boss Alan Pardew.
Yet just seven days earlier, Llorente had failed to make the 18-man matchday squad for the 1-1 draw at Everton.
Llorente had only scored once in 10 games following his £5million summer move from Sevilla - and Swansea boss Bob Bradley warned the 31-year-old World Cup winner that he had to find extra mobility in his game.
"I'm very happy here and I think I can help this team," said former Juventus striker Llorente, who was immediately linked with a return to Italy after being dropped at Goodison Park.
"It's difficult for me because of the language. I'd like to speak better than I do now, and I need to continue to study.
"After my (rib) injury, I lost my performance. But I always kept working in training and the coach saw this.
"These two goals are very important for me and my confidence and I feel very good.
"He (Bradley) has seen me play in other teams and knows I can do a lot of things. And I know I have to keep working for my best performance."
Llorente's arrival proved pivotal in a topsy-turvy contest which saw Swansea claim a first win since the opening day of the season and climb off the bottom at Sunderland's expense.
Gylfi Sigurdsson, who had a hand in all five Swansea goals, scored a stunning free-kick to cancel out Wilfried Zaha's early strike before Llorente's first touch set up the first of two Leroy Fer goals in the space of two second-half minutes.
But Palace scored three times between the 75th and 84th minutes - through James Tomkins, a Jack Cork own goal and Christian Benteke - before Llorente condemned them to a sixth straight defeat in the most extraordinary circumstances.
"I've never had a game like this," Llorente said. "One time it was 3-0 in the first half and ended 4-3, but this was crazy.
"I think this is the change. After this, I think the team will grow up a lot because this team needs confidence."
The fall-out for Pardew could be significant after a dismal run of results which leaves Palace outside the relegation zone only on goal difference.
Palace reached the FA Cup final in May, but they have the worst record in English football for points-per-game in 2016.
The pressure is mounting on Pardew despite his insistence that he can turn things around, and forthcoming games against Southampton and Hull could decide his future.
"We have been saying for a number of weeks now it's important that we do see these situations out and take the points," captain Scott Dann told www.cpfc.co.uk.
"But once again today we have managed to give them away.
"You would like to think when you go 3-1 down, you fight your way back into the game like we did and you should then go on and see the game out.
"We obviously didn't do that and it was a crazy game which produced a result that was difficult to take.
"I cannot really put into words how the dressing room is feeling at the moment."