Thursday 25 December 2014

Williams unfazed by LVG sideshow

Published 15/08/2014 | 12:31

Ashley Williams will not allow Swansea to be distracted by the media focus on Louis van Gaal
Ashley Williams will not allow Swansea to be distracted by the media focus on Louis van Gaal

Swansea skipper Ashley Williams admits he is not fussed by the Louis van Gaal factor at Old Trafford on Saturday.

Former Barcelona and Bayern Munich boss Van Gaal makes his much-heralded Barclays Premier League bow after guiding Holland to a third-placed finish at the World Cup finals in Brazil.

All eyes will be on Van Gaal ahead of the lunchtime kick-off, and also on the new 3-4-1-2 formation he has swiftly put in place since arriving at Old Trafford.

But Wales captain Williams insists he has only been focusing on Swansea's system under rookie boss Garry Monk, who is starting his first full term in charge at the Liberty Stadium.

"We couldn't really have got a bigger game, but the spotlight is obviously with them as they've got a new manager and it's on their ground," said Williams.

"We won't worry about them. We've been working on a system, how we want to play.

"We need to concentrate on that really and go into the game positive.

"For us, we're just concentrating on ourselves, whoever the opponent is.

"We're aware we're going away to Old Trafford, but I think in these type of games we need to worry about ourselves and what we're doing.

"Let's be honest, everyone will be tuning in to see what the new-look Man United are doing.

"The only people worrying about Swansea will be Swansea fans."

Ironically, Swansea were David Moyes' first Premier League opponents as United manager 12 months ago.

Moyes celebrated a 4-1 victory at the Liberty Stadium that day with Danny Welbeck and Robin van Persie bagging braces and the future looked bright.

But it proved to be a false dawn as United slumped from being champions in Sir Alex Ferguson's final season to seventh - their worst finish in Premier League history.

The former Everton manager eventually paid the price for United's fall from grace by losing his job in April and Williams believes Swansea face a far different challenge with the highly experienced Van Gaal in the opposite corner.

"I don't think we can judge anything on the Man United teams we played last season because this team will be different with the new manager," Williams said.

"Much has been made about the formation they're playing which will be the same as Holland played in the World Cup.

"It will be different and it's funny that we're playing them again like last season.

"But we're ready. We had a positive pre-season - it's been really good.

"I wanted a good one but it's probably the best I've ever had and I know we've got a strong squad.

"We've had a high turnover of players, but I feel confident in the players I've got around me."

Former Arsenal goalkeeper Lukazs Fabianski will make his Swansea debut at Old Trafford and Icelandic midfielder Gylfi Sigurdsson starts his second spell at the club following his summer move from Tottenham.

Ecuador winger Jefferson Montero, another summer recruit, could also make his debut, although wingers Nathan Dyer and Wayne Routledge are both available after sitting out the game against Spanish club Villarreal.

Press Association

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