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Thursday 14 December 2017

Alan Curtis impressed by 'confident and very thoughtful' Francesco Guidolin

Francesco Guidolin will take charge of Swansea for the first time against Everton
Francesco Guidolin will take charge of Swansea for the first time against Everton

Alan Curtis has been impressed by new head coach Francesco Guidolin's early impact at Swansea and compared the Italian to former Swans boss Michael Laudrup.

Guidolin will take charge of the Barclays Premier League strugglers for the first time on Sunday when they travel to Everton.

Curtis, who had been interim manager since Garry Monk's departure last month and will work alongside Guidolin, said the 60-year-old, who left his last managerial post with Udinese in May 2014, was up for the challenge of keeping Swansea in the top flight.

"Francesco addressed the players on Wednesday I think and spoke really warmly and passionately about what he expects from the players and what he will give to them," Curtis said at the pre-match press conference.

"He was really impressive considering he's got a limited amount of English. I thought he spoke really well.

"He seems really confident. I think he's very thoughtful, probably shades of Michael Laudrup in many ways and I think that he's quite reserved.

"He's very measured in how he speaks, but you feel there's a little bit of a fiery temper there as well. He's been impressive so far. I'm sure he realises the job he's coming into and feels very confident he can cope with it."

Laudrup won the League Cup with Swansea in 2013 during his two-year spell in south Wales.

Guidolin will be assisted by former Chelsea midfielder Gabriele Ambrosetti, with Curtis describing his role as "an ally" to the new boss "in terms of the knowledge of the players and the league itself".

Swansea make the trip to Goodison Park on the back of morale-boosting win over Watford on Monday night, which lifted them one point clear of the bottom three.

The club, however, are the second lowest scorers in the division, with 20 goals from their 22 matches, and Curtis admitted they " certainly need" to sign a striker in the transfer window.

He said Sunderland's Fabio Borini was " one of a number of players" they club were looking at, but stressed Andre Ayew would not be going the other way in any possible deal.

Curtis also confirmed a loan deal for Liverpool's Joe Allen was being considered, but said he was not aware of any interest in Blackburn's Jordan Rhodes.

Swansea have a fully fit squad to choose from for the Everton clash, with the Toffees without a league win since Boxing Day following a run of a loss and three draws.

"W e will look to exploit their weaknesses and hopefully we can take advantage of a lapse in concentration at the back," Curtis added.

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